Be #WildlifeWise Around Rabbits & Hares

Scottish SPCA appreciate the concern from well-meaning members of the public, but baby hares are often brought in to their care when they don’t actually need help. This puts a huge strain on the staff and space at the SSPCA wildlife hospital.

Baby hares are left by their mothers in long grass and undergrowth rather than burrows. Unfortunately, this can lead to some members of the public mistaking them for displaced baby rabbits and taking them away from their mothers.



Here are the physical and behavioural differences to look out for:

  • Rabbits are born completely helpless, naked and blind, their mother will be very protective of them.
  • Rabbits live in nests in burrows.
  • Hares are born fully furred, able to see and capable of movement.
  • Hares are generally larger with longer hind legs than rabbits and longer ears with characteristic black markings.

If you are unsure about a baby rabbit or hare, as long as it is not in immediate danger, monitor for their mother to return or call our helpline for advice on 03000 999 999.


We love caring for these animals at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre, but it is so much more beneficial to keep them with their parents to learn vital natural behaviours in the wild.

If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999. We need your support today. From as little as £1, you can save lives. Please support the Scottish SPCA today.

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