African Savanna Hare / Cape Hare

African savanna hares are normally solitary or seen feeding in groups of two or three in favorable areas. They are also strictly nocturnal, with large quantities seen at night, but very rarely seen during daylight hours. They rely heavily on camouflage for hiding. African savanna hares are very good runners. They are often seen running in a zig-zag pattern because their eyes cannot see directly ahead. They can run up to speeds of 70 km per hour. They make very sudden leaps to the side while running. This is a defense mechanism, to break their scent trail. If chased, they will seek refuge in an aardvark hole or warthog burrow. Fights and chasing are common between males during breeding times. Males and females also fight as a way to stimulate sexual behavior.


African savanna hares have very good sight, hearing, and sense of smell. They most often rely on sight to escape predators. In addition, they use their ears in signaling, with different positions for different moods. They have a sensory pad at the entrance of each nostril that is concealed by hairy folds of skin and aids in olfaction. They drum with their forelegs as a warning to other hares. Another non-vocal warning to others is teeth grinding. Even though both of these sounds are faint to humans, their keen hearing can detect this from a great distance. Females often make bleating calls to their young. When they are caught or wounded, they scream very loudly.


Source : Animal Diversity Web