The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Hare

Afrikaans name: Vlakhaas

Cape Hare

Cape Hare

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Lepus capensis

The Cape Hare has a wide distribution in South Africa. It prefers open country and can be found in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Free State. Beyond South Africa’s borders it can be found in many parts of Africa, Arabia and even India.

It smaller and more slender than the Scrub Hare with whom they share part of their ranges. Another distinguishing feature is that the underparts are pale brown while the Scrub Hare is white.

The Cape Hare is typically found in grassland with some scrub for cover. They are nocturnal and emerge from their daytime resting place to look for its favourite food, which is short, green grass. They are solitary by nature. They can run extremely fast and it is said that the only predator that can outrun them is the Cheetah. They are, however, preyed upon by jackals, Caracal and even Leopard who will either ambush them or catch them by surprise.

Cape Hares are fairly variable in colour across their range. They vary in size from 45 to 60 cm in length and can weigh up to 2 kilograms. They breed all year round and may have three leverets per litter and have 4 litters per year.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 198

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 49

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 36

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 78

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 186

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 30

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 419

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 10

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 146

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 157

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 19

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 49

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 159

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 294

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 82

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 82


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List of South African Mammals

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