The Irish hare
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Sightings of Irish hare casualties are rare, as are sightings of the hares themselves. Most casualties die, either from the trauma itself, or the stress caused by not being able to escape or being handled. Hares are more likely to be encountered alive as leverets, but the appropriate action to take is the same for all hares needing help. They are difficult animals to look after in captivity and they need specialist care.

The effects of stress on hares cannot be overstated. Just being able to see, hear or smell a predator - including you - may cause the animal to release fatal levels of stress hormones.
orphans & casualties
Young hares (leverets) are often left alone by their mothers, who return at night to feed them. It is normal for a leveret to be left in a hedgerow, long grass or vegetation. Their instinct is to stay still and not move, which leads people to (wrongly) believe that they are orphaned, sick or injured. Leverets like this should not be at risk unless there is immediate cause for concern or an imminent threat. Although they may be easily picked up, they should not be handled without first seeking advice.


If a leveret or hare has been brought to you, please follow these guidelines -


Prepare an enclosed cardboard box with some ventilation holes.

Provide bedding in the form of a towel or something similar.

Place the animal in the box, which should be put somewhere warm, quiet, dark and away from pets. This calms the hare and minimises stress.

Prevent unnecessary contact with people, especially children.

Do not try to feed it or photograph it - get advice as soon as possible.

Even if the animal receives specialist care, the way it is kept until then can affect its chances of survival. Following these guidelines greatly increases its chances of survival.
Leverets are often left on own their own - don’t touch!
Leverets are often left on own their own - don’t touch!