Golden hares

The landscape on Northern Island's Rathlin Island means you have a good chance of seeing one of Ireland's very special mammals - a creature of legend. Chris Packham goes to see one of Europe's rarest animals - the Irish hare. They achieve a high density on Rathlin and Chris watches a group that's gathered around one female with a damaged leg. Irish hares are only found in Ireland - they are descendants of the mountain hare, not the lowland brown hare. Chris has never seen so many hares in one place before. Then he gets a golden opportunity - the locals have reported sightings of animals that stood out from the rest - the legendary golden hare of Rathlin and Chris goes to see them. A weird genetic quirk has produced these rusty or tan hares, which are much lighter coloured than all the rest. One theory is that they only survive here because there are no predators. Others think that it is a natural colour for an animal that survives by speed, not camouflage.

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3 minutes

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