A photo allegedly shows a “Fennec Hare” which is said to be one of the world’s most endangered creatures. Today we’ll look at this photo and the claims behind it.
The photo is fake. No such creature exists.
The idea of the “Fennec Hare” appears to have originated on April 1, 2009 (note the date) when the image was circulated with the following caption:
The birth of one of the world’s rarest creatures was celebrated this week at North Korea’s Pyongyang People’s Zoo. The Fennec Hare is on the brink of extinction with only a handful remaining in captivity.
Once found throughout the Iperian Steppe, but now critically endangered, the Fennec hare relies on its acute auditory sense to evade predators and detect its favored prey, the D. carota beetle.
This image originated on the Worth1000 website, in a graphic arts contest entitled “Sickening Cute 4.” This winning entry was entitled “Kitty Kitty Bunny” by user Troop1. The user claimed to have used three source photos from SXC.hu to create this image.
Although the “Fennec Hare” is an imaginary creature, the fennec fox is real, and some may argue just as cute as the digital creation above.
The fennec fox is native to North Africa and is a small nocturnal creature with large ears. They live up to about 15 years in captivity. Some jurisdictions in the U.S. allow pet owners keep fennec foxes as exotic/wild pets as classified by the Department of Agriculture.
The Google Trends chart below shows search popularity on the phrase “fennec hare.” As you can see, it had a significant peak in August 2012, with smaller peaks in the ensuing years.
There is no such creature as a “Fennec Hare,” although the fennec fox is a real animal. The photo in circulation was created as part of a graphic arts contest in 2009.
- Endangered Fennec Hare Born at Korea Zoo (ZooBorns: April 1, 2009)
Updated July 9, 2015
Originally published June 2013