Lonely baby hare found: does it need help?

At first glance, a baby hare can easily be mistaken for a baby wild rabbit that is a bit older. But while wild rabbits are quite independent once their fur has grown and they open their eyes, baby hares may need help. But don’t act too quickly if you’ve found a little long ear in the grass. It may be fine and just waiting for its mother.

Lonely hare babies don't always need human help - Shutterstock / Erni

Lonely hare babies don’t always need human help – Shutterstock / Erni

The mother hare only visits her baby hare twice a day – usually at dawn and dusk – to suckle it. Otherwise, the little one is well hidden in the long grass and is waiting for its mum to come by. If you have found a baby hare, first check whether it is possibly injured and really needs help.

Found a baby hare? Please don’t touch it right away!

Unlike rabbits, hares are precocial. This means that they are born with fur, eyes open and able to run, so that they can quickly flee to a hiding place in case of danger. Wild rabbits, on the other hand, are born naked and helpless in a burrow and only leave it when their fur has grown and they can see and walk. A four-day-old hare baby and a four-week-old rabbit cub look deceptively similar at first. However, a baby rabbit still needs regular attention from its mother and her milk, while a baby rabbit is relatively independent by four weeks. The distinction is important because a four-day-old, healthy baby rabbit should never be touched, even if it seems lonely and helpless. The mother would then no longer accept it and it would starve to death.

You can recognize a baby hare by its curly fur, which is sprinkled with different shades of brown and black. There are two black dots on the tips of the ears. Older baby rabbits have smooth fur and no black tips on their ears. As long as the little brown hare is well hidden in the long grass or can hide if necessary, it doesn’t need any outside help at first. At dawn and dusk, hare babies often look out for their mother. It may then accidentally come near you. However, if it flees quickly, all is well.

Anyone who buys a dwarf rabbit has to plan well in advance: the rodents live to be around ten years old - Image: Shutterstock / absolutimages
  • Pictures Animal

  • animals and people

02/14/2015 – 7:19 p.m

Dwarf rabbits: The little bunnies are so cute

top list

Watch now

When a baby hare needs help

The situation is different when the baby hare runs after you and seeks contact on its own. Similar to squirrel babies who suddenly become clingy, remarkably trusting hare babies also need help. If you have found an injured rabbit baby, it has no place to hide or it is lying on its side, you should also intervene. This is also the case if your dog or cat has found a baby hare or if the long ears have been attacked by crows or other birds of prey. Even if it has no visible injuries, it needs medical attention. Then contact a wildlife veterinarian or wildlife sanctuary. You can find a list of some foster homes for wild rabbits, for example, on the Internet at

You might also be interested in these topics from the “Animals” section:

Here’s how you can help wildlife in winter

Hedgehog emergency: How to help the prickly garden dwellers

Practical feeding stations for wild birds

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button