An orphaned hare that was hand-reared and then released into the wild keeps coming back to visit the family who rescued her – every day.
The family first saw the little hare in their garden in early April. She was whimpering and needed help. So they brought her home and gave her the adorable name Clover.
Natasha Terry said she felt ‘like Snow White’ nursing the wild creature back to health, and the whole family developed a real connection with her.
They hand reared the two-foot-long hare for eight weeks before she was healthy enough to be released back into the wild.
But Clover misses her family and still pays daily visits to the garden, and has even found her way into their bedrooms over two months after she was released.
Natasha, from Gosberton, adds: ‘We never expected anything like this – it’s like something out of a Disney cartoon.
‘I feel a bit like Snow White, which is funny because I always wanted to be like her when I was a little girl.
‘We’re so happy she comes back and feels comfortable at our home.
‘Clover is very much a part of our family now, she’s like my new child.
‘It’s been such a crazy year with all that’s been happening, but it’s been so wonderful to have this experience.’
Her husband Mark, was mowing the lawn when he spotted the terrified hare after hearing her crying in their garden on 6 April.
Just the day before they had found an adult hare who had died, and they realised little Clover was an orphan.
Due to Covid, they were unable to get her to a vet, so they looked up how to hand-rear a hare and bought supplies.
They even went as far as creating their own special formula before realising they could purchase rabbit formula online.
‘It was so unusual but we love animals and couldn’t just leave her there to die,’ says Natasha.
‘We brought her in, she was scared initially but she took to us pretty quickly.’
Clover weighed only 50g when the family first found her, but after being fed four bottles a day she ballooned to ten times the weight in the space of eight weeks.
‘My youngest daughter wants to be a vet so she has many vet play sets and so we actually used her toy care set for Clover,’ says Natasha.
‘We put her on a scale to see if she was making good progress and getting healthier and heavier.
‘Eventually we started giving her grass, hay, and hard vegetables to eat.
‘But hares need space to roam, so while my kids absolutely adored her, we knew we’d have to let her back into the wild.
‘It wouldn’t have been right to keep her as a pet because that’s not what she is.’
The goodbye was emotional when the family finally let Clover back into the wild in June. They didn’t expect to see her again.
‘We were all standing outside with my kids, and it was quite emotional to say goodbye but it was the right thing to do,’ says Natasha.
‘I told my kids we’d probably see her again every now and then when she wanders back.
‘But she came back every single day for two months now.
‘We love her so much and we hope she keeps coming because she’s family now.’
The animal-loving family said Clover is the most unexpected addition to their home, where they already house eight chickens, a dog, and a goat fondly named Popcorn.
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