Snowshoe Hare


The snowshoe hare If you’ve invested any time in nature documentaries, you’ve undoubtedly come across this image: Alaska’s snowy paradise, the boreal forest. Everything appears serene until, perhaps with a swell of dramatic music, a snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) leaps into the frame, followed hotly by a Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis). With the lynx’s laser-focus and seemingly inexhaustible speed, it appears impossible that the hare will get away. Yet, lo and behold, the scene usually fades out as the hare makes its escape, dashing into some impenetrable cover or simply vanishing altogether. Like Houdini squirming his way out of a straitjacket. The snowshoe hare’s crafty reputation goes beyond the big screen. In traditional Ojibwa tales out of Great Lakes Canada, for instance, the hare is known as a trickster, utilizing the ol’ sleight-of-hand to steal fire from the gods. In India, a hare fooled a lion into eating its own…