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Rufus, the Snowshoe Hare

Happy Friday!

I told you I would post some photos of Rufus, the Snowshoe Hare.  I know it’s been a while, but here he is!

Note: all of these photos were taken with an iPhone 6S.

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This is Rufus as a little boy, maybe a week old. Seriously. This cuteness exists.

 

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Bright eyes and bushy tailed. Literally.

 

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A few ways in which hares and eastern cottontails (regular brown bunnies that are often seen in neighbourhoods at dusk and dawn) differ, include the way they look at birth. Hares are born fully haired (no pun intended) with their eyes open and ears standing up whereas cottontails are born with no hair, eyes closed and ears laying flat to their bodies.

 

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Foster mommy’s boy is growing up!

 

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Look at those handsome ears! Also, notice the back feet, hence the name Snowshoe Hare. Their feet actually act as if they’re snowshoes, so that they can run across the snow easily.

 

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Dandelions are delicious!

 

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Release Day…the day I look forward to and yet dread with all my heart. I love this little guy so much and I know that I’ll never see him again, but the wild is where he belongs. It’s where he knows how to be a happy hare. He’ll find a mate and hopefully have young ones of his own. I know I’ve done my job if he is healthy and able to be free.

 

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This is the photo that gets me teary-eyed every time I see it. He looked back at me, so I told him to go ahead and that he’s a good boy (not sure if that is a requirement of wildlife rehabilitation). Shortly after this photo was taken, Rufus hopped down the path, jumped up in the air and kicked his feet together like Fred Astaire (a sure sign of happiness and excitement), hopped into the bushes and was gone. (Thank you to Colin Mills for capturing this moment.)

I still miss Rufus to this day, but I look at these photos with great fondness and hope that he’s living the best life that a Snowshoe Hare could live.

I hope that these photos and this story has helped to make your Friday a little brighter.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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