World History Moment: Rabbit Doomsday In Australia
The kangaroo, the koala bear, the dingo are just some of the animals that are native to Australia and to no other place. At the same time, there are other animals that were not found in Australia until humans introduced them.
There were no rabbits in Australia until 1788, when the first fleet of English immigrants brought them in. On October 5, 1859, Austin released the rabbits onto his estate. Trouble was, there were no predators around to control the rabbit population. And as we all know, rabbits breed like rabbits.
Historian John Schmidt talks about what Australia did with its sudden rabbit infestation.