But first I will tell you that a jackrabbit is not really a rabbit. A jackrabbit is a hare. And the difference between a rabbit and a hare is that a hare has longer ears and longer legs than a rabbit has. Also, rabbits live in burrows in the ground, and hares make a little scooped-out nest on top the ground. Hares are born with fur and with their eyes open, and rabbits are not. The way that jackrabbits got their name is that they reminded people of burros, because of their long ears. So people started calling them "jackass rabbits," and later just "jackrabbits."
The jackrabbit statue cost $2,300 to make, and it is named Jack Ben Rabbit. One time some school children tried to get a mate for the jackrabbit because they thought he looked lonely. But they did not succeed in this. Another time some people tried to steal the statue, so now it is bolted to a cement slab. Lots of tourists come to see the jackrabbit and have their picture taken with it. Close to the statue, there is a historical marker, and here's what it says:
True plains Rabbit. Lives only in the west. Burro-like ears gave him his name. Color is protective, blending with sand and dry grass. Very long legs make him a swift runner, clocked at speeds to 45 miles an hour. Object of hunts with Greyhounds. Was prized by plains Indians for food and fur. To white man a reminder of desert-hard life. In drouth and depression, meat source for thousands. Subject of tall tales. Actual hero of world's only Jackrabbit Rodeo, in Odessa, May 1932.
Anyway, so now there are a whole lot of jackrabbits in Odessa. They are all over town, and they are painted all different colors. A lot of them are painted to go with the business that sponsored them. You can see more jackrabbit pictures on this website. The photos were posted there in 2006, so I guess that is the year these jackrabbits first hopped into town.
I like looking at the pictures of the jackrabbits, but they are way taller than a basenji such as myself, so I'm not sure I'd like to see them up close and personal. I know they are not supposed to be real, but what if it turned out they were? I would hate to be eaten by a giant bunny!