The animal kingdom never fails to startle us. There is so much diversity, that often, we come across newer species of animals that are just recent discoveries.
When we come across some animals that are not widespread enough to speak for their own existence, then man either enlists them as extinct, or happily announces them as mythical. Are jackalopes a myth or reality?
Just like the jackalope...
...the wolpertinger originates from Bavarian folklore, which states that the creature is mythical and is believed to have lived in the Alpine forests of Germany.
The Jackalope and its Sightings
Lepus-temperamentalus, or jackalopes, are also well-known as warrior rabbits. This is a cross between the pygamy deer and a species of rabbits. There are contradictory views regarding the existence of jackalopes though. Some call them mere mythological entities, whereas others firmly believe in their total existence.
And of course, there are sufficient reasons for that belief. Many people are believed to have spotted them in various parts of America.
The animal is a native of the American West, and at times has been supposedly spotted in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Jackalopes are considered quite aggressive animals, and can result in fatal encounters if approached recklessly. It begot its strange name from two different words - 'jackrabbit' and 'antelope'.
► These creatures are about the same size as a rabbit, but have antlers which are of the same size as their own bodies! They are usually brown in color, and run at lightening speed.
► According to popular belief, a jackalope was first spotted by John Colter in 1829, in Douglas, Wyoming.
► This is the reason why Douglas city has been named as the Jackalope Capital City of the world.
► One of the most intriguing tales about jackalopes is that, it has the unique ability to mimic human voices. There are tales that say, when hunters approached these creatures, the jackalopes would shout out directions in human voices, such that the hunters were misguided in the wrong directions.
► There is also folklore which state that, during campfires at night, the cowboys used to sing songs, and also heard that the songs were repeated by strange, mysterious voices. It is believed that they were being imitated by jackalopes.
► Jackalopes mate amidst thunderstorms, when there is lightening all around.
► Their milk is valued for its medicinal properties. It is best to milk a jackalope while it's asleep on its back, with its belly upright. However, there is immense risk in the process.
► Many scientific theories proposed that, rabbits are known to carry a type of virus that causes outgrowths. The horns that jackalopes have could be such an outgrowth caused by the virus. However, it is just a speculation, which needs proper evidence.
► One of the easiest tricks to trap and hunt a jackalope is to woo it with some whiskey! It is said that this animal loves the taste, and when drunk, becomes easy prey.
► June 31 is a day declared for hunting jackalopes. Jackalope Hunting Licenses are issued, and the time limit is from midnight to 2 am in the morning.
So are jackalopes real? Well, as the adage goes, 'seeing is believing'. So, for the ones who have spotted this extraordinary creature, jackalopes aren't really a myth. But for the rest of us who haven't, jackalopes are nothing more than a hoax.