Scrub Hare - Lepus saxatilis

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Scrub Hare - Lepus saxatilis | Cape Hare - Lepus capensis



Afrikaans Kolhaas
Zulu Logwaja Shangaan Mpfundla
Tswana Mmutlwa Shona Tsuro

F 2cm
H 3cm


Slightly oval and flattened
Pale-colored with rough surface

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

The under parts of the Cape hare are pinkish white or white with ochre-buff bands. The incisor teeth are wider than in Cape hares. Runs away with ears held flat, Cape hare runs with ears held erect

Male/Female Differences

Females are slightly larger than males. 


Savanna woodland, mixed grass and scrub; avoids areas of open grass. Not found in true desert.


Grass, preferring fresh young growth.


Gestation 42 days. Up to three young, usually two,  are born at any time of year. There is a peak of births in summer. Taken by carnivores from African wild cat and Black-backed jackal  and larger predators as well as by large raptors.

Behavior and Habits

Active from dusk to dawn, emerging to feed when the sun sets. During the day they rest in small patches of flattened vegetation (called forms) in patches of thicker cover or under bushes to which they return over a period of days. They remain in the form until approached closely after which they run off with ears back. They are solitary although small groups may be seen together on areas with good grazing.

A scrub hare that detects a potential predator moves off with a rocking-horse action that flashes the white underside of the tail, signaling to the predator that 1) it has been detected and has lost the element of surprise and 2) that the scrub hare is strong and healthy and that a chase would result in a profitless expenditure of energy on the predator's part. When pursued by a predator the hare runs straight until the predator has just caught up with it and then very rapidly sidesteps to the side.


A chirping call when disturbed at night. A loud squeal when caught.

Dung and Field sign

Small heaps of pellets about 1-1.5cm long, slightly oval and flattened, pale coloured and rough surfaced. Forms showing the impression of the fore and hind parts of the body.  In the spoor the marks of the pads of the hind feet are obscured by the long hair between them.

Safari Media Africa/C.A. Mitchell 2000-2012

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