Scrub Hare [Lepus saxatilis
The Scrub Hare is larger in the south-western parts of the range (2.7-4.5 kg) than further north (1.5-3.2 kg). The upper parts are a grizzled-grey and the under parts white. They have long ears which are grey in colour
, and together with the black- and-white tail these become most visible whilst fleeing.
The Scrub Hare feeds mainly on short, green gasses
, but during times of hardship scrub hares will also take leaves, stems and rhizomes of dried grass.
Births peak from September to February, but they may give birth throughout the year
to between one and three leverets per litter. Triplets are more likely during good rainy seasons. They will breed during most adverse drought conditions.
They are solitary. Females may be accompanied by a few males during oestrus. Preferred habitat is scrub
, tall grasslands and savannah.
Where they are found
Distributed widely in South Africa but absent from forests, coastal desert
areas and the drier north-western parts of the Northern Cape.
The Scrub Hares are renowned for running in front of cars at night, zigzagging as they run
. This zigzagging run is presumed to be a way of avoiding capture but it is also thought that the shadows caused by the lights of the vehicle scare the hare into changing direction.