The jackalope, also called an antelabbit, horny bunny, aunt benny, or stagbunny, is a fictional cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope (hence the name), goat, or deer,
The jackalope is usually portrayed as a rabbit with antlers
One common southwestern species of jackrabbit is called the antelope jackrabbit, because of its ability to run quickly like an antelope; it would have been easy enough to imagine instead (for comic effect) that this jackrabbit had the horns of an antelope.
The first horned hare appeared in Conrad Gesner's Thierbuch (a German version of his Historia Animalium Liber I: De Quadrupedibus Viviparis by Konrad Forer, first published in 1563.) Additionaly, there are many more illustrations of horned hares shown in scholarly works by European naturalists in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries (engraved plates for the Encyclopédie Méthodique, 1789, for example).
The jackalope legend in the U.S. is attributed by the New York Times to Douglas Herrick (1920-2003) of Douglas, Wyoming, in 1932. Postcards showing jackalopes were also sold in the U.S. in the 1930s. Horned hares abound in European and, particularly, German and Austrian, legends as the raurackl, rasselbock and wolpertinger.
The legend of the jackalope has bred the rise of many outlandish (and largely tongue-in-cheek) claims as to the creature's habits. For example, it is said to be a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of "killer-rabbit". Reportedly, jackalopes are extremely shy unless approached. It has also been said that the jackalope can convincingly imitate any sound, including the human voice. It uses this ability to elude pursuers, chiefly by using phrases such as "There he goes! That way!". Although no jackalope has ever been captured alive, it is said that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. The jackalope will drink its fill of whiskey, and its intoxication will make it easier to hunt. It is also legend that the Cherokee Indians would eat these at the end of a vision quest.
In the American West, mounted heads and postcards of jackalopes are a popular item in some novelty stores. Jackalope legends are sometimes used by locals to play tricks on tourists. This joke was employed by Ronald Reagan to reporters in 1980 during a tour of his California ranch. Reagan had a rabbit head with antlers, which he referred to as a "jackalope", mounted on his wall. Reagan liked to claim that he had caught the animal himself. Reagan's jackalope hangs on the ranch's wall to this day.
Theories about origin
It is generally believed that the legend of the jackalope was inspired by sightings of rabbits infected with the Shope papillomavirus, which causes the growth of horn- and antler-like tumors in various places on the rabbit's head and body.. On the other hand, the human imagination has often delighted in creating composites made from two or more animals (such as the griffin and chimera), and does not really need a logical reason to do so.
- In furry fandom, it is not uncommon to see anthropomorphic versions of the jackalope, and it actually has its own cult following in said fanfics and artwork.
Television & Film
- A jackalope appears in the episode Appa's Lost Days in the Asian-influenced animated series Avatar the Last Airbender. What is especially noteable here is how well this happens to fit into the Avatar world, which contains an animal kingdom virtually almost totally consisted of animal hybrids.
- In an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures the mascot of a football team called "The Mighty Jackalopes" turns out to be imbued with the powers of the rabbit talisman. The mascot turns out to be a regular rabbit with fake horns on its head.
- A jackalope is featured in the feature-length animation "Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders" (2000) when Scooby and Shaggy follow it to the hole where the fake aliens are digging up gold for profit.
- A jackalope; officially named "Jack-Ching-Bada-Bing" after a viewer contest to come up with a name for the character, was featured in the U.S. television show America's Funniest People, where it would laugh a lot while playing mean tricks on people (usually to punish those who had themselves been mean to others). It was also featured on the very first show produced for Nickelodeon, Out of Control, which was (like America's Funniest People) hosted by Dave Coulier.
- The jackalope was used in an episode of Pinky and the Brain as a key part of one of Brain's plots. The two mice disguised themselves as "mousealopes" and claimed that they were an endangered species, and that their native habitat was Pittsburgh. The city was quickly evacuated, and Brain proceeded to use its steel in one of his plots for world conquest.
- A giant female jackalope and her "normal"-size baby appeared in an episode of Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension, the Canadian-produced revamp/spinoff of the short-lived NBC fantasy series Eerie, Indiana.
- Pixar Animation Studios created a short film, "Boundin'", that features a wise, nameless jackalope as a main character. This short preceded the showing of the 2004 film The Incredibles, and was included in the latter's DVD release.
- Ron Burgundy compares himself to a jackalope in the special features section of the Anchorman DVD.
- Reno 911 Junior points out "The Jackelope Constellation" Reno 911 TV, Comedy Central, Air Date July 23rd 2006.
- 2006 Oregon State Fair television advertisement: A classic Oldsmobile convertible drives down a country road with Kelci Rae (Oregon's Miss Teen USA 2006) seated in the back seat between the University of Oregon duck and Oregon State University beaver mascots. In the front passanger seat is Sasquatch and Art Alexakis (Everclear) is driving. The scene changes to a jackalope sitting by the side of the road and the car driving past. Back in the car Sasquatch looks over his sholder, turns back and grunts, "I didn't think those things where real."
- On the album The Big Eyeball in the Sky by Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains one of the instrumental tracks included is titled Jackalope
- A Canadian industrial music band has named itself for the animal, using the spelling Jakalope.
- French musician Toog released the song "The Wild Jackalope" on his 2002 album Easy Toog for Beginners.
- Japanese band Shonen Knife wrote an English-language song called "Jackalope" for their album Happy Hour.
- Country musician Steve Earle recorded a song called "Creepy Jackalope Eye" with The Supersuckers on his album Sidetracks.
- There is a song by the U.S. alternative metal band Clutch called "Day of the Jackalope."
- There is a DJ named Miss Jackalope who plays at the DEF CON hacker conference and various raves. She has a quickly growing fan base called "The Jackalope Army"
- A giant jackalope graces the cover of 70's rocker Steve Forbert's album "Jackrabbit Slim".
- Psychedelic rock band Soundarcade from Latvia named their album "12 Songs of the Jackalope"
- A jazz/native American band is also named Jackalope and have put out such albums as "Dances with Rabbits" and "Weavings"
- There is a Magic: The Gathering card called Jackalope Herd.
- A jackalope was featured on the cover of Sam & Max Hit the Road, a computer game starring a dog detective, Sam, and his rabbit sidekick, Max, whose mission is to locate an escaped sasquatch.
- A jackalope character appears in the first chapter of the computer game King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride.
- The jackalope appears as a monster in the roleplaying game Deadlands, where it has the power to cause bad luck.
- Alexander Leland Cayne refers to President Steward as a "jackalope" in Hitman Blood Money.
- In Rampage: Total Destruction there is a monster known as Jack the Jackalope you can play as.
- Jackalopes appear as one of the enemies in the 1998 First Person Shooter Sequel Redneck Rampage Rides Again.
- One of the characters in the comic strip Bloom County was Rosebud the Basselope, an antlered Basset hound.
- In JT LeRoy's novel Sarah, "lot lizards" (prostitutes who ply their trade at truck stops) make pilgrimages to "Holy Jack's Jackalope" in the backwoods of West Virginia to avail themselves of its miraculous powers.
- For all you Jackalope Needs
- Photo gallery of Shope-infected rabbits
- Origins of the Jackalope
- The Jackalope : Museum of Hoaxes
- Jackalope fans take note: Your mythical beast really does exist! : Prof. Chuck Holliday
- The Jackalope Conspiracy
- Jackalope : Douglas, Wyoming
- Home of Everything Jackalope
- Odessa Jackalopes Hockey - Official Site