Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'Agoraphobic' hare becomes family pet after a narrow escape from farmer's plough


Good hare day: Eve Naylor, 6, with Frances the agoraphobic hare at home in East Yorkshire. Frances was given to the family by a local farmer after she was nearly ploughed in a field

A family have adopted a wild 'agoraphobic' hare who is too scared to join her friends outside and instead stays inside watching TV with them and sleeping in their beds.

John Naylor and wife Suzy found cute 'Frances' when she was abandoned by her mother and narrowly avoided being killed by a farmer's plough in a field.

The lovable creature, scarred by her ordeal, now joins the family watching TV sprawled on the sofa, is fed on puppy milk, uses a cat litter tray as a toilet and bounds upstairs to join the family in their beds.

The animal is best friends with the family's terrier, Mouse - but also has mischievous 'bad hare days' when she munches on carpets and cushions. She has even gnawed through several telephone wires, cutting the family off.

Wildlife artist Mr Naylor, 50, said: 'We got her when she was just a few days old so she became very tame very quickly. I have tried to get her to go into a run in the garden outside but she gets hugely spooked, so she sits inside with us, watching the television.

'We are keeping her in the house because she is agoraphobic. It wouldn't be fair if we put her outside, she doesn't like and wouldn't be able to cope with the outside world.'

Special treatment: Eve and her father John feed Frances with puppy milk. The hare was abandoned by her mother and now lives with the family

Mr Naylor - whose children Eve, six, and four-year-old George have fallen in love with the unlikely three-month-old pet - said Frances was only four inches long when she was rescued.

Now she loves them so much she simply refuses to leave the four walls of the family's cottage in the tiny village of Langtoft near Driffield, East Yorkshire.
Mr Naylor said: 'A farmer saw her in a field which was being ploughed. She had been abandoned.

'The farmer thought he might have clipped her with the plough and rang me straight away. We brought her home and started to feed her on puppy milk.

'Then we started hand-feeding her. She now weighs about three pounds and loves tucking in to a variety of treats, from rabbit food, carrots, parsley and celery to dandelion leaves.

"Maybe one day in the future she will get over her fear and go outside like a normal hare. She has the run of the house and is very intelligent. She's an inspirational, amazing creature.'

Mrs Naylor, a 33-year-old housewife, added: 'She absolutely loves to join us in bed and leaps on to either ours or the children's beds, then nuzzles into the duvet like a cat. In fact she is like a cat in many ways, it's amazing a wild animal can be like this.

'She can be naughty and she has chewed through so many telephone wires we have to constantly get spare ones in. But you can't get angry with her because she is so cute and is now a much-loved and very important member of the family.'

Mr Naylor has even made the creature the star of his latest annual exhibition of artwork in Driffield.

source: dailymail

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