Hare outsmarts “killer” stoat by giving it the run around in thick Scottish snow


A FASCINATING video shows a hare out smarting a “killer” stoat while hopping around in thick Scottish snow.

Jo James Walker filmed the moment she spotted the duo at war in eight inches of snow outside her home in Ballintuim in Perth and Kinross yesterday.

Jo said the hare had been “teasing” the hungry stoat for over five minutes by constantly dodging it, whenever the ravenous predator started to get close.

The clip begins as the stoat leaps around in the heavy snow, trying to get to the hare.

Just as it almost reaches its prey, the hare gives a massive bounce to avoid being killed.

Not giving up that easily, the persistent stoat continues to chase the hare – that is seen hopping circles around its attacker.

Stoat chases hare
The snow was no match for the sneaky stoat.

The hare then remains still again until the stoat tries another time to get closer. Yet, again the hare manages to hop away, just as it’s about to get captured.

In the end, the hare unexpectedly ends up on top as the fed-up stoat is filmed jumping its way through the snow and heading off into the distance – without it’s meal.

Stoats are known to easily kill large rabbits and can usually reach speeds of up to 20 mph when not being held back by snow.

Speaking today, Jo said: “I first noticed the stoat edging it’s way along the fence line, the hare a good 40 feet away from it.

“It kept going up on its hind legs to spy the hare then danced across the snow to try and catch it.

“The hare was having none of it. I watched them for about five minutes.

“The hare would have been having a wee chuckle to itself.

“I’ve lived here for 26 years and never seen a stoat take on a hare. I don’t think the hare felt particularly threatened as it would easily outrun the stoat…Possibly enjoyed teasing it.”

Stoat chases hare - Scottish News
The hare was given the upper hand by the snowy conditions.

Jo shared the clip onto Facebook yesterday, writing: “Fun in the snow this morning. Fed up stoat, happy hare.”

The clip attracted hundreds of likes and comments from captivated social media users.

Alison Macpherson wrote: “Poor stoat wet, cauld and hungry as well, nae luck the day.”

Ann Grant commented: “Great shot and I’m glad to see the stoat giving up.”

And Melissa Taylor added: “Here’s me thinking they were pals and playing… then I find out stoats actually eat rabbits/hares.

“Glad to see the stoat gave up in the end.

Stoats are known for being able to easily kill small rodents and rabbits.

They can easily kill adult  rabbits, which are a lot larger than themselves, by usually biting them at the base of their skull.

Stoats usually enter the tunnels of their prey and are usually found living in woodland areas.

The predator can travel up to 2km in a single hunting expedition of a few hours – and even further if food is scarce.

In winter, stoats are almost wholly nocturnal and are rarely seen as they travel as little as possible in colder months in order to conserve energy.