After 2 years in Australia (the first 2 were a bit of a blur to be honest) Tornado was just the age to enjoy a little bit of Easter fun and magic. As for Christmas, I will always mention the beliefs and traditions practised by people all over the world during these festivities, but we are not religious in our family. With many of the traditions having their roots in pagan beliefs and originating (well, yes) in Germany for both, there is still lots to talk about heaps of fun to have in both seasons.
I still struggle to think of a bunny or rabbit for Easter, having grown up with the idea of an Easter Hare. Hares are rarer, bigger and far less often seen as roadkill in Europe. They are incredibly fast (Their bodies are capable of absorbing the g-force produced while running at extreme speeds! whoa!) and have sophisticated stealth methods, so you kind of see why they first got the job.
Bunnies on the other side, while certainly qualifying by their explosive reproduction rate to be a symbol for fertility (that’s what Easter was all about originally, right, see also the eggs.. ), yeah, I don’t know…
It appears to me they are far to busy posing for internet macros, invading Australia’s plains or living as live plush toys at people’s home to be up for the task to go hiding all those eggs once a year ? (but yeah, they sure are cute..)
Always interested (and very alarmed) by the origins and occurrence of invasive species in Australia, and the unique, sometimes bizarre fauna of my new home country, I was pleased to hear about the ‘Easter Bilby’ campaign.
So here is the Bilby.
Yes, one could argue that it isn’t just as cute as the rabbit… Or as fast as the hare.
But they do have long ears too and it’s menaced by extinction and it needs some support.
Bilbies are slowly becoming endangered because of habitat loss and change as well as food competition with invasive species. Feral cats pose a major threat to the bilby’s survival, and it competes with rabbits for food.
Over the last 20 years, Australian conversationalists and some chocolate companies have picked up the problem and come up with a campaign to promote the ‘Easter Bilby’. I think it’s a great idea ! Sort of.
So while I do not totally reject the Easter Bunnies (aww, who could they are just too cute!!) and it appears that not all companies who have been involved in selling chocolate bilbies in the past were actually contributing to any wildlife fund, but why not talk to your kids about the bilby this year or make a direct contribution to known wildlife organisations.
Because they clearly need some help :
“Bilbies try to frighten their attackers by wiggling their bottoms, and waving their black tipped tail. Let’s just say it’s been unsuccessful against foxes and cats.” (Dr Tony Peacock,
of the invasive animals Cooperative Research Centre)