Posted by: Karl Shuker on June 8th, 2014
Closely related to America’s familiar jack rabbits, hares are among the most delightful and enigmatic of British mammals, and down through the ages they have been many things to many people – symbols of fertility, the moon, and Easter, to name but a few. They have also been described in many ways – magical, mystical, and even mad, but never monstrous, surely?
Giant hare statue at Hay on Wye, England. (c) Dr Karl Shuker
However, a number of eyewitness accounts have been filed from various parts of the British Isles that describe mysterious, unidentified animals resembling hares, or even rabbits, but of truly monstrous, massive proportions. What could such extra-large lagomorphs be?
A selection of reported encounters with these so-called king hares and giant rabbits can be accessed here on my ShukerNature blog.
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 21 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.