The jackalope is a small creature native to North America. Appearing to be a jack rabbit with deer-like antlers, they are a shy species rarely seen in the wild.
The jackalope is known for confusing and startling travelers in the American West, but rarely appears to seek out humans or other company. They are believed to be the result of a cross between the pygmy deer and the caerbannog rabbit, and cowboys told tales of hearing them call in human voices in the night.
They are a popular animal for taxidermy, due to their unusual appearance, but many of these are fake.
Traits and Behavior
An adult jackalope is a smaller animal, typically around 10-25 pounds. They have brown or grey fur, and white, branching antlers. Jackalope kits often have spots on their back, which they lose during adolescence.
The jackalope is a fast animal, with speeds up to 50 m.p.h. over short distances. They are typically very shy, but can be territorial and vicious during the spring mating season. They use their shorter stature and speed to leap below their predators, goring upwards with their antlers.
Jackalopes live in family groups consisting of the parents, children, grandparents and siblings. The couples typically mate for life, and remain together outside of the mating season for the raising of the kits. They build temporary, seasonal nests in tall grasses and fields, and often return to the same places year after year. This has caused many issues with human settlements, as the jackalope will attempt to return and becomes territorial to newly settled humans and cattle.
Jackalopes are omnivores; they primarily consume plant matter, but can and will hunt small animals or scavenge other predators’ kills. This is particularly common in the spring before mating season, as a way to build strength and muscle prior to their season. Jackalopes preferred prey are small lizards and reptiles, but they will go after smaller rodents and birds if the opportunity presents itself.
The jackalope cannot speak, as some legends claim, but they can make a call that resembles a human scream or shout. They typically do this at night, when they are the most active, as a way of communicating to each other and to scare off other predators.
The jackalope is a shy animal and will typically run when faced with a human. If threatened, or if in mating season, they will aim to disable the legs first using either their antlers or a jump at the mid-section. To avoid this issue, protection of vital areas and of the calves is advised. Jackalopes are neither immortal or invulnerable, and general weaponry or hunting gear should be sufficient to take one down if needed.
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