november / 14


14th November, 1901 : Australian pastoralists and farmers are unanimous in their condemnation of a furry animal with the impressive zoological name Oryctolagus cuniculus. Better known as the European rabbit, the animal has bred and spread like wildfire since being introduced here more than 40 years ago. Although some rabbits reached Australia with the first fleet in 1788, it seems beyond doubt that the present rabbit population originated from a small shipment of wild-type rabbits imported from England on the clipper Lightning in 1859 and liberated on Thomas Austin’s property, Barwon Park, near Geelong in Victoria. By 1866 rabbits had crossed New South Wales into Queensland, and by 1894 they had been sighted in Western Australia.

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