Well, the Moon being in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligned with Mars, I've decided to use the conjunction to combine a few things that people have asked me about at one time or another. Jill was enquiring about our edible native animals, and jedimacfan and Universal Head have both shown an unhealthy interest in Australian 'Big Things'.
So herewith, for your viewing pleasure, the scourge of The Great Southern Land, the Giant Rabbit.
Yes, I know, technically not native animals, rabbits, but by golly, they may as well be there are so many of them.
The rabbit originally comes from Spain, you know. I'm sure it is a darling happy little critter as it hops around Spanish meadows. Here, it is a hideous feral menace.
The rabbit was introduced to Australia very early on. Opinions as to dates vary. There were rabbits on the First Fleet (1788), but it is generally accepted that the real problem didn't start until about 1859 when a small number of rabbits was released for hunting purposes.*
The introduction to Australia went something like this:
Englishman: Australia, this is the rabbit. Rabbit, this is Australia
Australia: Pleased to meet you Rabbit!
Rabbit: Howdy Do! (thinks: Jiminy Cricket - the whole freakin' place is EDIBLE!)
Think Hansel and Gretel seeing the witch's cottage, but with no witch.
Of course, while they were small, rabbits were hard to control and that was bad enough. But then the British, not content with just letting the jumping pests loose in the first place, carried out their atomic tests in Maralinga in the 1950s*, creating the first mutant bunnies, leading to the mega-Rabbit and all the disastrous consequences that followed. In the photo above you see a misguided attempt to usefully re-skill this Giant Rabbit, a government initiated project that was doomed to disaster from the first hop.
*Some things in this post are factual.