Hare births in Calgary bring annual message to leave unattended animals alone

If you see a hare, leave it there. That's the message from the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society this spring as both the snowshoe and white-tailed prairie hares in the city begin to breed.

CWRS officials say hares are born with a full coat of fur and their eyes open. As well, they can hop within a few hours of birth and do not have a scent, so it's normal for baby hares — known as leverets — to be left unattended under bushes or in long grass for long periods of time.

Mother hares will return to feed their young as little as twice a day and it is normal for a baby hare to freeze when it feels threatened. Hares only need help if they are visibly injured.

Three hares were brought into CWRS offices in the last week that didn't need any care, said executive director Andrea Hunt.

"The babies are so cute, I think people, their nurturing instincts kick in and they want to help animals that don't need help," she said.

Unlike rabbits, Hunt said hares don't fare well in captivity.

Anyone unsure whether a hare needs help can phone CWRS at 403-239-2488.

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