KILDARE ANIMAL FOUNDATION UPDATE: Leave the baby hares on their own

Rescue centre

Dan Donoher

Reporter:

Dan Donoher

Email:

editor@leinsterleader.ie

KILDARE ANIMAL FOUNDATION UPDATE: Leave the baby hares on their own

One of the leverets currently being raised by Dan Donoher at the Foundation

Female hares tend to have three to four young per litter. Leverets are born with their eyes open, and they are fully furred and able to move around.

They are born in long grass and hidden from view. They also have no scent. This protects them from being tracked down by predators.

The mother hare will leave her young for lengthy periods of time and only come to feed them once or twice a day.

After a few days ,she will move her babies around to spread them out. This too protects them.

Should a predator locate where the leveret is, at least it will be on its own and some of the litter will be saved.

Due to young hares being left unsupervised for most of the day, people can often mistake them for being abandoned.

If you are walking and come across a leveret, please leave him alone if uninjured. You can return in 24 hours and see if the young animal is still there or has moved on.

This is what happened in the second spell of snow recently. A farmer found two leverets in a snow-filled field.

He brought them home and looked up some information on the internet. They were soon brought back to where they were found.

They returned to check on them24- hours later and found the days-old leverets in the same spot, with no footprints to show a female had visited, and they were very cold at this stage.

Once warm,they were brought to us on Bank Holiday Monday. They join two other orphaned hares that I am hand-rearing. They are fed three times a day on special milk formula. Their rehabilitation should last around eight to 10 weeks, but they are very difficult to hand rear and an experienced eye is needed.

We are hopeful that they will return to their rightful place in the wilds of Kildare once again

Bedding

We find our blanket stocks running low once again. The cold spells have put pressure on us on all fronts.

We have had to order extra oil for heating and the use of heat lamps to keep animals will see our electricity bill soar. We hope that will be the end of it now till winter. We are currently looking for blankets, sheets and towels for bedding. If you can help, please drop to the shelter during opening hours.

Volunteers

Volunteering with animals can be the most challenging but the most rewarding thing you might ever do.

We can never get enough help. We are currently looking for volunteers (18 and over) to help with the daily tasks at the shelter.

They include caring for sick and injured animals, cleaning kennels, mucking out our goats and sheep, maintenance. If you love animals and want to help your local animal shelter, then we would be delighted to hear from you.

Kildare Animal Foundation, located outside Kildare town, is a voluntary organisation that provides a safe haven for neglected or abused animals. Tel: 045 522929, email info@animalfoundation.ie  or log on to www.animalfoundation.ie.  All donations welcome.