Move over Easter Bunny πŸ‡ … make way for the Easter Bilby! πŸͺƒ

Home / Australia / Move over Easter Bunny πŸ‡ … make way for the Easter Bilby! πŸͺƒ

Bunnies are considered cute and loveable… except in Australia πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί, where they’re a major scourge🀬. Famous Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby (check out her special Nanette on Netflix) even makes mention of this, to much comic effect, in her latest show Body of Work.

After humans, rabbits have been the most catastrophic species introduced in Australia, having destroyed many native habitats and topsoil with their fecundity, voracious diet and extensive warrens, which in turn have resulted in the endangerment and extinction of many native Australian plants🌿and animals 🐨.

In order to protect the environment from further rabbit-caused damage, the Australian state of Queensland even requires a special licence 🎫 and has severe restrictions in place if anyone wants a rabbit as a pet.

So this makes Australia’s persistence for the Easter Bunny rather awkward πŸ˜•

In 1968, 9-year-old Rose-Marie Dusting wrote ✍🏻 the story “Billy The Aussie Easter Bilby” to bring public attention to saving the bilby, an endangered native Australian marsupial with distinctive long ears much like a rabbit. By the way, bilbies are very cute! 🐭

πŸ“’ In the 1990s, Nicholas Newland from the Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia promoted the idea of the Easter Bilby to raise awareness about the environmental destruction that feral rabbits cause, and to replace the Easter Bunny with a native Australian alternativeπŸͺƒ

Although Aussies have no love lost for rabbits, the Easter Bilby has unfortunately yet to eclipse its more established European stalwart. Big Australian chocolate brands 🍫 did start making chocolate Easter Bilbies for sale, with part-proceeds going to funds to protect the bilby; however, public interest waned in the late 2010s, with Cadbury even discontinuing their chocolate Easter Bilby line in 2019.

But all hope is not lost πŸ€—. Organisations such as the Save the Bilby Fund continues to promote the Easter Bilby as a more fitting Easter chocolate deliverer for Australian children, given that the false cutesy image that the Easter Bunny reflects is in opposite to the reality of the disastrous impact of rabbits on the Australian environment, and that the Easter Bunny is a misappropriated, European-based, coming-of-spring fertility symbol when Australia is now entering autumn πŸ‚.

βœ… So who’s Team Easter Bilby with me?

πŸ₯š Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates this holiday!