Monty Python introduced us to the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, Jimmy Carter repelled an attack of a killer bunny while fishing in Georgia in 1979, and in the B-movie Night of the Lepus (1972) giant rabbits terrorize a small town in Arizona.
But wait, there’s more! As Ed Wood might’ve asked, “My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts about the KILLER RABBITS OF PASCO?!?!”
The following article was found at random in the Jan. 6, 1922 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle:
PASCO RABBITS ARE “FEROCIOUS”
“WALLA WALLA, Jan. 6–(Special)– Rabbits, apparently inoculated by dogs and coyotes afflicted with rabies, have become so ferocious, according to residents in Pasco, that they have launched an offensive attack against the cedar poles of high power tension lines. These reports come from many sections of the country.”
“Almost unbelievable stories of rabbits attacking dogs and coyotes and in many cases putting them to flight are told by responsible persons in the community. A general alarm has been sounded and many drives against the jack rabbits have been planned. At the R.M. Johnson place Saturday, 66 farmers assembled, but owing to the peculiar antics of the rabbits only 100 could be killed.”
“Many of these, when picked up, were found to be frothing at the mouth, residents say. A call has been sent out urging every farmer to gather Saturday in an effort to exterminate the pests.”
“A precaution urged that hunters wear hip boots to keep from being bitten by rabid bunnies.”
The Washington State Library has a number of titles dealing with the subject of rabies, although many of them focus on bats.
Also among our titles on this topic are a few digital items. Should you be unfortunate enough to encounter and kill a rabid rabbit, the Washington State Dept. of Health has provided a nice visual on how to dispose of the specimen. This serves as another example of how our catalog can be viewed as public service, serving as a central gateway with a controlled subject vocabulary (known as “authorities” by library catalogers) for the many thousands of state publications we have digitized.
[Rabbit in water image courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Library]