Bunnies are rodentia-non-grata in Australia so with Easter on the way, confectioners down under are offering sweet-toothed Aussies cute chocolate Easter Bilbies instead.
Rabbits aren’t native to Australia but there sure are a lot of ’em there… like, hundreds of millions, and they are well-regarded to say the least. Indeed, these cute and cuddly cottontails are one of, if not THE, most destructive invasive species in history. Humans are kinda invasive too, by the way, but hey – we’re the ones writing this history, not rabbits.
In any case, bunnies of any and all extraction are akin to Public Animal Enemy #1 in Australia and as most modern Aussies disdain the long-eared galoots, presenting chocolate versions to kids at Easter does little to warm the antipodal cockles. Thankfully, candy manufacturers such as Cadbury have hit upon a more appealing alternative – the Bilby.
Also known as “rabbit-eared bandicoots” due to their, er, rabbit-like ears, bilbies are pointy-snouted marsupials of the genus Macrotis. Native to desert regions of central and northwestern Australia, the Greater Bilby is considered to be an endangered species.
Competition for food and habitat with the despised invasive rabbits has led to an ongoing decline in bilby populations, so competition on candy store shelves is a great way to raise awareness of their plight. If you’re in Australia this spring, do spring for a chocolate bilby or two. Share with friends and family, and “chews” to start a conversation about conservation! (images via Rick01 and Dark Orange)