|Base:||rabbit and Deer DNA|
|Height:||9" sitting, 20" 'standing'|
|Status:||Hoppin' and Breedin'|
Originally nothing more than myths told by travelers in the 1800s, Jackalopes are now a very real (and delicious) animal. Almost certain death for farmers due to their insatiable hunger and breeding rate, they are one of the more underrated threats by wasters.
Despite stories being told about them being told for centuries, true Jackalopes never existed. What travelers mistook for them was simply desert hares with a rare mutation. The Stan & Marley Hunting Company sought to remedy this by making a creature fit for recreational hunting. Best known for their Tindalo project, Stan & Marley devoted no less attention to Jackalopes, with test creatures being spliced as early as 2044.
These early tests always ended in failure, however, with either sterility, organ failure or the antlers growing through their brain. A breakthrough was thought to have been reached in 2067 when a scientist on the project supposedly impregnated a Deer with Rabbit DNA. Though he earned many congratulations and funds during the pregnancy cycle of the doe, upon birthing of the hybrid, the man was promptly fired and the "baby" burned.
Despite the traumatization of several of the staff, the birth was not a complete failure. Tissue taken before the destruction of the subject gave several useful clues on how to achieve their much-awaited goal. The first successful test breeding of a Jackalope was in 2072. The subject, Bugs, was the first healthy subject that showed no health problems and lived past six months. The first litter of his children, however, were all purebred rabbits, much to the scientists' annoyance.
It took the next year (and a few more litters) to realize that the chromosome could only be passed on by a female. With this in mind, they gave it to several does and monitored their litters. With the subsequent birth of several Jackalope litters, the scientists could finally breathe easy. They took the next year to make sure of DNA stability, and with everything looking positive, reported to the board of directors that Jackalopes were ready for sale.
After appearing in several prominent Christmas 2074 catalogues, many officials were surprised by the demand from the suburban populace who wanted them as pets for their children. Knowing that they could get more profit by taking the long road, Stan & Marley began rebranding Jackalopes as "the perfect pets" and pushing the image of cute creature frolicking in backyards across America.
The Great War
Despite the change in marketing, many hunters and ranchers bought Jackalopes for their original purpose, thus sparing them from vaporization. With humans and many predators in hiding, Jackalopes had several peaceful days to feed and breed, ensuring their continued long after the radiation faded.
Jackalopes can be found around across most of North America, usually in wooded areas and plains. They have slowly changed over the next centuries, however, growing slightly larger, with significant growth in their already powerful hind legs. This allows them to escape many predators or any curious waster that may be nearby. Their horns have grown shorter and slimmer, evolving due to a need for protection from predators.
Jackalopes are small furry mammals. They are most known for their prominent antlers, which have changed since it was first breed into them. Their fur is universally thick but soft, keep the creatures warm in a variety of environments. They possess much larger and more developed back legs consistent with pre-War rabbits.
Jackalopes feed on grass and various plants, with vegetables and herbs being favorites. They have also been seen eating pre-war chips and bread when able to access it.
Jackalopes posses a set of antlers that end in sharp points, which they will try to ram with when threatened. They also possess sharp claws, but will most often try to flee.
Jackalopes powerful back legs are more than capable than carrying them away from most predators, and when cornered they will attempt to use their antlers to defend themselves.
Jackalopes much like their rabbit cousins roam all over North America. They are especially fond of woodlands but can be found in prairies and urban environments as well.