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Wild Animals/Ruby our hand reared Hare



We picked up Ruby as a approximate 4 day old blind and helpless baby in the road along side her dead mother who it seems had been hit by a car whilst carrying Ruby. We hand reared her and now almost 4 years on she is a fiesty litter trained house Hare. Ruby happily lives alongside our 6 cats and our 5ft Iguana Lola. We have considered for a while getting her a friend but are unsure if she would willingly share her home that she uses at night. Do you think that this would be a safe option for her or a new rabbit. I would also be interested to know how long her life expectancy is.
Many thanks

Dear Emma

Thank you for your question and for looking after the hare. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

Susan Sroka ( says that you should keep a leveret away from domestic noises and family pets, especially cats and dogs, which are a danger to juvenile hares.

Keep the leverets away from domestic noises and family pets, especially cats and dogs. They are a danger to juvenile hares. Hares are very nervous animals and have a different temperament to domestic rabbits. They are very rarely kept in captivity. I suggest that you contact Steve Bexton (, who is a wildlife vet and a member of the Hare Preservation Trust or Susan Sroka (Email: or telephone 07885 969527 or 01636 822552). and say that hares can live for up to 12 years in the wild. says that hares can live up to 7.4 years in captivity.

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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