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Natural UAE

Hare

Absent from the mountains but otherwise widespread in the United Arab Emirates is the hare (Lepus capensis). Adapted to the harsh environment, the local hare is much smaller than its European counterpart and is therefore often mistaken for a rabbit, which does not occur in Arabia. Unlike the rabbit, the hare does not live in burrows, but spends the day motionless, with its ears folded back, relying totally on its camouflage, remaining in shallow scrapes under a bush or even in the open. The young hares, or leverets, are born fully furred with their eyes open and are able to survive without their mother from the seventh to the tenth day of their lives. The baby hares are left by the mother in separate locations, where she visits them a couple of times a night to let them suckle. The advantage of this system is, that if one young is found by a fox or another predator, only that individual will be killed and not the whole litter. Should the mother vanish, then the babies, as mentioned earlier, are able to fend for themselves from a very early age. As with the other mammals that have adapted to the desert life, the hare does not need to drink water, obtaining enough moisture from the grasses and shrubs it eats.

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