Country: Nature Notes

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The Independent Culture
ONE FORMIDABLE enemy of young hares is the stoat, an agile predator capable of killing prey much bigger than itself. Stoats are almost comically curious, and, like hares, give rise to all sorts of stories: that they hunt in packs, mesmerise their prey with a hypnotic dance, and suck the blood of their victims.

These claims have some basis in fact. Stoats do stand on their hind legs and weave their torsos about - although whether this is to fascinate their prey, or is caused by a parasitic worm in the skull, nobody seems certain. The alleged blood-sucking derives from their fastening their teeth into the neck of a victim such as a rabbit, and clinging on until it dies.

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