On August 3, Antwerp Zoo, in Belgium, welcomed a delicate new Springhare in their animal nursery! The tiny creature’s mother, Mel, showed a healthy curiosity in her new baby, but failed to nurse. Keepers are now working round the clock, hand-feeding the new baby.
The new Springhare at Antwerp Zoo is being kept in a darkened room, inside a special incubator. Keepers feed the fragile baby every two hours with a small syringe of puppy milk, and its diet is supplemented with fennel tea, which is good for intestines. The baby is also weighed regularly to ensure the food intake is successful.
If the love and attention it receives during hand-feeding goes well, the baby Springhare will next be moved to a nesting box. There, it will be warmed with stones and a heat lamp. The baby would also be introduced to solids, and he would hopefully be weaned in a matter of about 70 days.
Native to South Africa, the nocturnal, tunnel-digging Springhare is not a hare, but is a member of the order ‘Rodentia’. Although, 20 years ago they were classified on the IUCN Red List as “Vulnerable”, their outlook has improved to a level of “Least Concern”.
See more photos below the fold.