Scrub hares - Helderfontein’s special residents.

With the onset of thunderstorms in October and the flush of fresh green veld grass in the Greenbelt areas and on the undeveloped stands, Helderfontein welcomed some new babies to the Estate.

There were a good number of Scrub Hare births noted.

Hare babies are called leverets and a female hare gives birth to 1-3 young when there is food available and can have 3 litters a year on the Highveld. The pregnancy lasts for about 42 days and the leverets are born fully haired and eyes open. They can hop about very soon after birth.

Scrub Hares are nocturnal grazers and spend most of the day hiding in scrapes under bushes and in long grass. These ‘nests’ are known as forms.

They rely on their camouflage to remain undetected and will sprint off in a zig-zag run if they think they have been discovered.

The leverets will remain absolutely still as long as they can and this unfortunately makes them susceptible to being killed by cats.

Cats and cars are the biggest threat to the lives of the hares in the Estate. Although they can get out of the way of a car quickly, they are dazzled by the headlights and then freeze and get run over.