On our Kruger safaris, we see them often on the roads on night drives, but no one seems to ever chat about them!! Here are some interesting scrub hare facts…

Scrub hare are nocturnal – they can be seen on overcast days though

They do not live in burrows, they live in hollows pressed by their bodies under bushes. They are found solitary, but when a female is on heat 1-3 males may follow her. When they are in danger, they sit still until the last possible second then they bolt off in a zigzag fashion – about 70km/h

Scrub hare diet is almost exclusively grass, but during drought, they will eat leaves, shrubs & rhizomes – they eat their faeces to obtain maximum nutrition. They prefer scrub, tall grassland & savannah and these hares are absent in forests & deserts
Breeding occurs all year round, they also breed during drought. During the matting season the males kick box each other to obtain the matting rights. Gestation is about 1 month, the young are born precocial (able to move around with the adults after a few hours). Between 1-3 babies are born, triplets are more common when there are good rains
Mass: male=2kg          female=2,6kg

Scrub hares belong to the family – Leporidae. Hares & rabbits represent this family. They were once classified as rodents because of their incisors, but have a second pair of peg-like incisors behind the constantly growing first pair. Their hind legs are adapted for running & their eyes are adapted to low light conditions. Leporidae have modified digestive systems to deal with large quantities of cellulose – they have a caecum, which is found between the large & small intestine, which aids in cellulose digestion. Most of the nutrients are put back into the blood by the caecum, but important minerals e.g. Vitamin B12 would be lost if they did not eat their faeces. The difference between rabbits & hares – hares have longer legs for running fast & the young are fully furred, rabbits are less agile & their young are not fully furred