Jackalope is a dangerous animal with jack rabbit’s body and an antelope’s antlers!
Jackalope, as the name suggests, is thought to be a mysterious animal with jack rabbit’s body and an antelope’s or deer’s antlers. Stories about it are said to be centuries old, but nonetheless, there are questions about the existence of this strange and scary creature.
Jackalope is said to be an antlered species of rabbit, sometimes considered to be a cross between a now extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit. Rumored to be extinct by some people, jackalope is said to be one of the rarest animals in the world. Having the ability to use their antlers to fight, jackalopes are seen as highly aggressive and dangerous animals if approached (sometimes called the “warrior rabbit”). The creature became so popular that it also given the pseudo-taxonomic descriptor Lepus temperamentalus and is associated with many outlandish habits, like it has an uncanny ability to mimic human voices and can be caught by leaving out a bottle of whiskey.
Origin of Jackalope
According to a legend, the first jackalope was spotted in Wyoming around 1829, but these seem to be tales without proper evidence. The stories of Jackalope became popular after 1932 hunting outing of Douglas Herrick (1920–2003) of Douglas, Wyoming. He, along with his brother Ralph Douglas created a taxidermized Jackalope and sold it to a local hotel. The Jackalope became a popular local story, and the Douglas Chamber of Commerce has even issued thousands of Jackalope Hunting Licenses to tourists. Douglas became the jackalope capital.
The Herrick brothers Douglas and Ralph studied taxidermy when they were teenagers. Returning home from hunting, in a hurry to get to dinner, they tossed their hapless jack rabbit kill into their taxidermy shop. The carcass went on to settle over a pair of deer antlers, when Douglas Herrick’s eyes suddenly lighted up. They mounted it the way it was, and that’s how the legend was given form – Jackalope is the taxidermy creature formed by grafting deer antlers onto a jackrabbit carcass!
That first jackalope was sold for $10 to Roy Ball, who installed it proudly in the town’s Bonte Hotel. (The mounted horned rabbit head was however stolen in 1977.) Soon stories about jackalope became popular and it fed the demand for the stuffed and mounted creatures; tens of thousands of them were sold. As a matter of fun, the hunting licenses offered to eager tourists by Douglas Chamber of Commerce had rules specifying that the hunter cannot have an IQ higher than 72 and can hunt only between midnight and 2 a.m. each June 31 (which does not exist). Notably, some of the ‘horned’ rabbits reported to have been seen were in fact tumors that developed from viruses.
Despite this, the popularity of the legendary creature Jackalope continued. In Douglas, Herrick’s home town, there is a statue of a jackalope, and the town celebrates Jackalope Day every year. The state of Wyoming trademarked the Jackalope name in 1965. Over the years, Jackalopes appeared on postcards, in video games and also as recurring character in TV shows.
In short, there is no evidence to prove the existence of the legendary creature Jackalope (which looks like a rabbit sprouting a pair of antlers). The popular mythical animal became popular from a taxidermy art of Douglas brothers in 1930s.
Hoax or Fact: