A hare-raising survival tail

Being in animal rescue, we receive our fair share of unusual calls and last Friday was to be no different.

Being in animal rescue, we receive our fair share of unusual calls and last Friday was to be no different.

A gentleman called me looking for some advice on two leverets that his grandchildren had just found. Normal enough you might say, then he told me what had happened.

On the Thursday evening, the grandchildren had been out playing in the front garden when they noticed a hare crossing the road. As she crossed, a car was driving past at the same time and knocked her down accidentally. I’ll spare you the gory details but unfortunely the mother was killed and as a result of the impact her unborn leverets were born.

Five tiny premature bundles were brought into the world suddenly. Three, unfortunately, only survived a few seconds but a miracle happened and two of the leverets were stronger than the others and moved. This is when the boys noticed that they were there and needed help.

They were quickly brought inside and were warmed and dried. They were given some milk from a syringe and kept overnight. Brid, one of our dedicated volunteers, went on Friday to pick them up, while I stayed at the shelter and made preparations for their arrival.

When Brid handed me the box and I pulled back the cotton wool that covered them, I couldn’t believe how small and fragile they were. Leverets are born fully furred and with their eyes open and are able to move around after a half hour or so after birth (unlike rabbits which are born bald, blind and defenceless).

The two leverets as a result of being premature were yet unable to use their back legs. They were given a fed of some special formula milk and placed under a heat lamp were they were checked every 30 minutes over the next 24 hour period. They continued to do well and by Monday they were sitting up and able to move around.

- Kildare Animal Foundation