The springhare is a rodent, not a hare, and is the only
species in its own family. It has a short, round head with
large eyes and long, narrow, upright ears. It is a grazer,
feeding almost entirely on grass, though it does eat roots
and the leaves of low bushes. It does not drink water, getting
its moisture from rain, dew and free water in food eaten.
Its enemies include snakes and owls as well as weasels,
mongooses and jackals; man is also a major predator.
In Zimbabwe and Botswana springhares are a source of protein
and the Koi-San are so fond of them that they eat almost
every part of the anatomy. The springhare is nocturnal,
and so is often caught on the road in the glare of a car's
headlights. It excavates a burrow as its shelter: burrows
often have more than one exit, and may be linked to neighbouring
burrows. The female gives birth to her single young inside
the burrow, where it remains for the first seven weeks of
its life, before being weaned onto grass.