wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Long Live the Jackalope!

Mykl Roventine
Creative Commons License

You’ve probably seen it on postcards, on bottles of gin or mounted on the wall in gas stations or quaint restaurants: The jackalope. Half jackrabbit, half antelope. A true icon of the American West. But why? And where does it come from?

According to one legend, the jackalope was born when an antelope and a rabbit were stuck in a cave during a storm and crossbred. Another one holds that it's the result of a deal brokered long ago among warring animal tribes. Another still has it that, one day during the Great Depression, a pair of brothers in a small Wyoming town put their taxidermy skills to creative use. However it came into being, the jackalope remains an enduring touchstone of the West. The writer Michael Branch went down the horned rabbit’s hole to learn everything he could about the creature, what it represents and why it fascinates us to this day.

Airdate: August 12 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Original airdate: March 18 and March 19, 2022.

Michael Branch's book is On the Trail of the Jackalope: How a Legend Captured the World’s Imagination and Helped Us Cure Cancer. [IndieBound|BookShop|Amazon|Audible]

Stay Connected