Wednesday 28 May 2008

Week 1 Progress

This is Buster's progress since day 1...

Over the past 7 days Buster has made some great improvements, he's put on weight, he's grown and he's very alert!
Leverets are notoriously difficult to rear and many things can go wrong at different stages of their development. I have been keeping in touch with the Irish Hare Organization and have received great advice and support (thanks Mike!).

We weight Buster every morning before his first feed to monitor progress, then he has his bottle.. the quantity he drinks depends on how much sleep or exercise he got, varying between 3 and 14ml.

He tends to be still asleep in the morning and does not drink too much but on his second or third feed he monsters down his bottle!!

Then he has a fourth feed in the evening that keeps him full and asleep for the night!

We wipe the milk off his chin and neck after his bottle, dry him and let him wonder around for a bit..

Also, his teeth are starting to grow and he started nibbling at everything!

We are offering him some branches with leaves for him to chew on but he's not interested in them yet!

His wild nature is starting to come through and although he likes to be held and falls asleep in our hands, some days he's just wild and it gets harder and harder to feed him.

Some more pics...

Wakey, wakey, it's dinner time!

Buster finds it hard to stay awake!

Also, we're concerned about Buster's eyesight.

Leverets are supposed to be born with good eyesight but Buster seems to be banging into everything.. he runs straight into a wall or a door and even outside he does not seem to see the fence around the garden. He does not respond well to movements but only to sounds and smells and we're starting to think he might be blind..

Even when feeding him, if I move away his bottle only half an inch away he goes wild looking for it but he does not see it, not until he feels it against his mouth.

Having discarded the hypothesis that he might be color blind with some colors (makes no difference what color the edge is, he will run into it!) and that he's no sense of depth, we did some research and came across a site which explains that hares have back vision, so they see all the way around them but have a blind spot right in front of them, so perhaps this is an explanation..

Or else, he was born blind.
If Buster is really blind this is going to affect his release but perhaps it's still too early to tell - so we'll wait and see how things pan out and it might be the case that it could just be an infection and his eyesight will return - either way, we love him to bits, we've become incredibly attached to him - really hard not to, he's the cutest little fella!!

A squirrel? A mouse? A baby kangaroo? A kitten?

Buster looks slightly sheepish about his weight!

Feed time!

More updates on him soon...

Buster's rescue and recovery

After my colleague found this little leveret sitting still on the road outside work, she picked him up and brought him into the office and we discussed what to do.
We rang a local pet shop looking for advice and we were told to put him back outside.

So we brought him back out and put him near the closest hedgerow to where he was found (when the picture below was taken). We watched him from a distance but he was so small that he could not sit still without stumbling on the grass; it was so cold and he was shaking and it had just started raining.
There were no hares around and we thought he would not survive the cold night away from his nest, so I offered to take him home to keep him warm and bring him back to the same hedgerow in the morning.

Once home, he was kept warm, fell asleep and slept all night.

I did some research in the meantime and discovered that the mothers feed leverets at night, so chances were that the mother would come back for him...

The following morning I brought him back to the same hedgerow. It was lashing rain.
I waited a bit to see what he did, then went into work.
My husband who also works for the same company checked on him while I was in the office. We waited few hours but the leveret was still in the same place in the grass, he did not move back into the cardboard box to seek shelter and did not go under the hedgerows, no signs of the mother and at that stage he was completely drenched under the rain so we decided to bring him back in.

I took a permit from work and went to the pet shop looking for some milk I could feed him with. I was advised to bring him to a vet clinic as they had nothing there to feed the leveret and he needed immediate attention as he was very dehydrated and was gone into a hibernation state. (They said not to get too attached as he might not make it...)

I rushed to a vet who gave me some milk (powder milk for puppies) to feed him with.

I took the leveret back to the office and gave him a big feed..
Slowly, he made it out of the woods.

He's been with us since.

My husband and I have named him Buster.

Tuesday 27 May 2008

World Wide Web, meet Buster.
Buster, meet the World Wide Web.

Hi all,

Buster is a leveret (a baby hare) that my colleague has found outside our workplace. He was sitting still in the middle of the road and she picked him up as she was afraid a car might have hit him. She could not take care of him (as she has a dog at home) and I was happy to take him home with me to rear him until he'll be old enough to be released back into the wild.

Today Buster is 6 days old. I would like to use this blog to monitor his progress, growth and development for the next 6 weeks, when he'll be weaned and therefore ready to be released back into the wild. This is his blog, his journey...