The Easter shopping frenzy seemed to start the very day after the Christmas sales concluded. Supermarket aisles were suddenly packed to the ceiling in oddly shaped compound chocolate, all wearing garish coats of aluminium foil. Eeek. But, say you can’t instead cycle down to your local food co-op and get some fair traded, organic dark choccy to celebrate the death of a wise man some 2,000 years ago? It’s a conundrum that fortunately Australians can avoid. Elsewhere they have a bunny, but we’ve got the Chocolate Easter Bilby. Like a bunny, the bilby has long ears, a cute nose and lives in a burrow. Unlike rabbits the poor little guy is officially listed as endangered. Actually a bandicoot, the Bilby has pouch, a bit like a kangaroo or wallaby, for toting the little 'uns around in.
Since 1999 there has been a concerted attempt to save the the greater bilby from the extinction that was visited on their cousin, the lesser bilby. $300,000 AUD of funding was raised to built a massive 25sq km electrified predator-proof fence around a bilby sanctuary in the Currawinya National Park in remote Queensland. Feral cats and foxes were trapped, and eventually when the enclosure seemed predator-free the cute little creatures were released. All the while, Darrell Lea, a confectioner of 90 years standing have been slinging the fund between 30 and 50c from sale of each bilby chocolate lookalike. By our reckoning almost half a million lumps of long eared choc have been consumed, and $185,000 AUD donated. Of course, you could also just donate directly to the fund. Save the Bilby Fund