Delivery – just in time for Easter! – Readilearn

 

Many children around the world eagerly await the arrival of the Easter Bunny and his delivery of coloured, candy, or chocolate eggs or toys. The Easter Bunny has been delivering his gifts for more than three hundred years.

When Europeans arrived in Australia a little over two hundred years ago, they not only brought the Easter Bunny tradition, they brought real rabbits as a food source and for hunting. Cute little rabbits, you may say, but the rabbits were quick to breed. Without any natural predators, they soon became widespread, and created an enormous environmental problem. They contributed to the destruction of habitats and the loss of native animals and plants. They also became a serious problem for farmers.

One of the animals that suffered as a result of the introduced species is the bilby, a now vulnerable marsupial, native to the deserts of Central Australia. The cute bilby with its long rabbit-like ears and cute face is considered a possible native substitute for the Easter Bunny in Australia.  Chocolate makers and other organisations used the idea of an Easter Bilby to draw attention to its plight and to the Save the Bilby Fund, established to help its survival. (Check out the Save the Bilby Fund’s free education resources.)

This week I have uploaded some new Easter resources featuring bilbies. I hope you and your children enjoy them.

Continue reading: Delivery – just in time for Easter! – Readilearn

15 thoughts on “Delivery – just in time for Easter! – Readilearn

  1. LucciaGray

    I didn’t realise rabbits were such a pest in Australia. I remember watching the film The Rabbit Proof Fence, a wonderfully heartbreaking film. I thought the rabbits were originally from Australia. Thanks for letting me/us know the real story.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Rabbits were introduced as a food source. I’m sure many would have been eaten. I don’t know if they still are. I really see anything rabbity on a menu anywhere.

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  2. Annecdotist

    Rabbits are a nuisance in my garden too but fortunately preyed upon by domestic cats! I love the idea of the Easter Bilby, but maybe that’s because we didn’t have a concept of the Easter Bunny when I was a kid.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m interested that you didn’t have a concept of the Easter Bunny. I thought it was a tradition in the UK as elsewhere. I’ll have to check up on that.
      Also interesting to hear you praise the domestic cat for getting rid of the rabbits from your garden.
      Over here, cats are as bad as rabbits in destroying our native wildlife. Well, I don’t know if my comparison is quite right, but they do a lot of damage.

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      1. ksbeth

        no, they’ve moved here to the states, but keep their house there. (bunbury, south of perth in wa). still have all of his family there, who i’ve become close to, so you never know, another visit may be in the future. do you live anywhere close to them?

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        1. Norah Post author

          I must be nice to have them living closer to you now. I live on the opposite side of Australia from Bunbury. I did visit Bunbury once when I lived in Perth briefly eons ago.

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  3. thecontentedcrafter

    Hello Norah! There’s a world of difference between the cute bunnies featured in books and films and stories of Easter and the vociferous wild rabbits that eat and destroy – and breed. Personally I find it hard to combine the two 🙂 It’s so nice to hear that the endangered Bilby is given special attention at this time. There’s nothing wrong with introducing new and more relevant ‘traditions’!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Pauline. I don’t think of the Easter Bunny as having anything to do with the destruction, but I do like the idea of a native Australian as an Easter character. My daughter never did though. She refused to have anything to do with the Easter Bilby, though she’s quite fond of the little marsupials. She had a collection of rabbit ornaments for years but has outgrown those now.

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        1. Norah Post author

          Well now you’ve stumped me. I thought bunnies and rabbits were the same. I knew rabbits and hares were different. I have some research to do. More to learn. Awesome! 🙂

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