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The Jackalope

Jackalope: a mythical creature in the shape of a rabbit or hare with antlers.

The jackalope is a mythical North American animal of fairly recent invention. It is essentially a jackrabbit with antlers (Jackrabbit x antelope).

Jackalope lore fits more into the category of tall tales rather than serious belief. But it certainly inspired a lot of postcards and souvenirs.

Also Known as

Horned hare, Lepus temperamentalus, warrior wabbit

"Sightings"

It is often suggested that John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, reported sighting a jackalope. This story is most likely apocryphal

the-jackalope

Home of the Jackalope

The town of Douglas (Wyoming) claims to be "Home of the Jackalope". Douglas is home to a large jackalope statue to mark the source of its fame. But then, Red Lodge (Montana) is home of the jackalope too. So which of these is true?

Possibly neither. The town of Douglas also has a strong historic claim to inventing the beast courtesy of a local man, Douglas Herrick, who created the first taxidermy "deerbunny" some time in the 1930s or early 40s. The apparently plan to create a new, much larger, jackalope statue.

the-jackalope

"Real" Jackalopes

The closest thing you are likely to find to a real jackalope is an unfortunate bunny infected with Shope Papilloma virus which can cause nasty growths from the animal' head. (see: Cryptomundo). Some people seriously suggest that this disease caused the myth of the mythical jackalope but I am inclined to think it was always an inventions.

Symbolism

The jackalope is the symbol if a range of produce and activities related to swiftness including: a greyhound and a race.

the-jackalope

Creative Taxidermy

The jackalope is a tempting subject for a whimsical taxidermist on a limited budget.

Tourist Jackalopes

There are plenty of jackalopes around the country that you can pose with, examples below. And they remain a popular subject for souvenirs.

South Dakota

South Dakota

Douglas, Wyoming

Douglas, Wyoming

Namesakes

Many different establishments and products are named after the Jackalope including restaurants and breweries.

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References

  • Rybicki, E. (2018). History and Promise of plant-made vaccines for animals. In Prospects of Plant-Based Vaccines in Veterinary Medicine (pp. 1-22). Springer, Cham.

Comments

moonlake from America on November 23, 2015:

There are jackalopes around here in the bars. I saw a bunny with the Shope Papillomavirus on vet tv show recently.

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on November 23, 2015:

Ah, I saw a jackalope many years ago near Wall Drug in South Dakota. My husband and I were driving across country from NJ to Yellowstone, taking in sights on the way.

Penny Skinner (author) on October 07, 2011:

Only if you look tasty!

Lenore Robinson from Delaware on July 03, 2011:

Does it bite? :o

Voted up and useful!