Hand-rearing Black-naped hare Lepus nigricollis nigricollis at Coimbatore Zoological Park and Conservation Centre

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Abstract

Orphaned Black-naped hare Lepus nigricollis nigricollis leverets were brought to Coimbatore Zoo in July 1994, and January and March 1995. Cow's milk was used to hand-rear the animals successfully although it has a high lactose and low protein content and is unlike the milk of leporids. Leveret 1 weighed 180 g 3 days after arrival and 750 g 30 days later, a mean increase of 19 g per day. Leveret 2 weighed 250 g on day of arrival and 650 g 30 days later, a mean increase of c. 13 g per day. Leveret 3 gained 235 g in 9 days, a mean increase of 26 g per day. Grass and forbs were offered from day of arrival but were not eaten for c. 10 days.

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