sobota, 7 kwietnia 2012

The Easter Bilby and some other facts about Easter

Easter Bilby
Okazuje się, że nie wszędzie króliczek czy zajączek gości na wielkanocnym stole. W Australii w 1991 roku rozpoczęto akcję "Buy Bilbies, not Bunnies", ponieważ króliki są uważane w tym kraju za szkodniki. Pierwsze czekoladowe zwierzątka pojawiły się na Wielkanoc w 1993 roku. Bilby to torbacz, który ma długie uszy, długi pyszczek, futerko i torbę jak kangur. Samce osiągają wielkość królika. Kopie długie podziemne korytarze. Polska nazwa zwierzątka to wielkouch króliczy. Niestety gatunek jest zagrożony wyginięciem.
A oto kilka artykułów na temat bilby'ego z Internetu:

Some countries don’t have the Easter Bunny. In Australia, for example, rabbits are hated pests, so Australians have the “Easter Bilby,” a marsupial with rabbit-like ears.
The idea of the Easter Bunny originated with German immigrants who settled in Pennslvania in the 1700′s. Children believed that if they were well-behaved, the Osterhase (“Easter Rabbit”) would leave a nest of brightly coloured eggs on Easter morning. The idea began to catch on after the Civil War.
Since the 1800s, children in Sweden have celebrated Easter by dressing up as witches. According to Scandinavian legend, during the week before Easter, witches (disguised as townspeople most of the year) fly into the mountains to dance and celebrate the arrival of spring with the devil. Traditionally, the Swedes lit fires to drive the witches away. Today they set off fireworks. Children paint their faces, wear long skirts, and go from house to house, handing out small pictures they’ve drawn in the hopes of getting candy.


SYDNEY - The Easter Bunny’s days as a furry seasonal icon may be numbered in Australia, as conservationists Down Under move to replace it with the Easter Bilby.
The bilby is a rare marsupial that has long ears, a long muzzle, silky fur and a pouch like a kangaroo. Males grow to about the same size as a rabbit.
But the animal is in trouble. Only some 600 are estimated to remain in the wild, and its habitat is being steadily eaten away by rabbits, which were introduced to Australia.
As a result, Mike Drinkwater, who looks after bilbies at a Sydney wildlife park, would like to make the Easter Bunny a thing of the past.
“Number one, rabbits are a pest in Australia. Secondly, the bilby has these lovely, endearing rabbit-like qualities,” he said.
“Thirdly, the bilby is a beautiful, iconic native animal that is struggling. It is endangered, so it’s important that we do all we can to support that.”
Chocolate stores around Australia are displaying Easter Bilbies in their windows. The largest Australian-owned chocolate factory, Darrell Lea - which sponsors bilby breeding programmes - questioned why anybody would want to buy an Easter Bunny when they could have an Easter Bilby instead.
The campaign appears to be catching on. Some schools have replaced their Easter bunnies with bilbies for annual egg hunts.
“Given that the bilbies have suffered so greatly due to the introduction of rabbits, it’s directly linked to a very important conservation and education message,” Drinkwater said.

Easter Bilby
Rabbits are an introduced species in Australia and are unpopular because of the damage they do to the land.

In 1991 a campaign was started by the Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation to replace the Easter Bunny with the Easter Bilby (an endangered species). Author Jeni Bright wrote a children's story called Burra Nimu the Easter Bilby to support the campaign.

Easter Bilby