Mountain hare changes to pure white winter coat
The mountain hare, whose fur turns white when winter begins, looks almost like it’s playing hide and seek as it blends in with the snowy scenery. As it is preyed upon by other animals in the natural world, the hare’s coat gradually turns from brown to the protective snow color from around October, so as not to be so visible to its natural predators such as eagles and foxes.
A mountain hare rearing facility was completed at Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa in June. By not building a roof on the facility, the snow penetrates naturally. “Like we hoped, visitors to the zoo are able to see the hare buried in the snow,” said a smiling zookeeper. In September, three mountain hares arrived from Sapporo Maruyama Zoo, and four hares are now being raised at the facility.
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