Springwatch viewers got more than they bargained for as the show returned this week, with ‘X-rated’ footage of hares having sex leaving some viewers shocked.
The much-loved programme was back for its 17th series on Tuesday, with the focus on the leporids during mating season.
Presenters Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham spoke about the rituals the species goes through every spring, explaining that male and females often fight each other as part of the process.
‘You may think it’s male on male fighting for the rights for the female, but it’s not,’ Michaela said.
‘It’s actually the ladies, the jills, fighting off the males, the jacks. They fight them off if they’re not ready to mate yet, if the male is being too eager,’ she explained.
‘I think that’s a pretty cool avoidance tactic myself – when you’ve got a male with his amorous ego, you just give him a bit of a right hook, bit of a body blow.’
The footage took some by surprise on Tuesday night (Picture: BBC)
Co-host Chris added: ‘It’s part of a mating ritual. She’s testing their diligence, how long do they chase her for, how many days are they after her or maybe they test their strength when she’s got them up and she’s boxing them.’
It wasn’t just clips of the animals fighting that viewers were shown either. Chris went on to say that the cameras had captured the hares mating over the previous days.
Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham were the presenters on Tuesday’s episode (Picture: BBC)
As the videos were shown, some viewers took to social media to share their shock at what they called ‘X-rated’ footage of the hares mating ‘before the watershed’ – and proof that the animals do indeed ‘breed like rabbits’.
‘Hare porn. Good lord,’ one wrote after seeing the clip.
‘Blimey, hard-core porn before the watershed. Watership Down X-rated,’ another said.
The baby hares are known as leverets (Picture: BBC)
Viewers were just as taken with the hare’s adorable baby leverets, which are born 40 days after the hares successfully mate.
‘You’ve got people on their sofas all over Britain going “aw look at them”,’ Michaela said after the babies were seen on screen.
Springwatch continues tonight at 8pm on BBC Two and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.