Wolpertinger

The wolpertinger is a small Bavarian creature similar to the jackalope.

Although different areas describe the creature differently, the wolpertinger most commonly resembles a rabbit or squirrel with wings, antlers, and fangs. Most variations still use a mammal as the base of the monster, such as a pine martin. Others give it the body of an owl. In some descriptions, the wolpertinger also features the webbed feet of a duck. The creature is known in woodcarvings dating back to the 17th century. It is probable that it originated with sightings of rabbits afflicted with cottontail rabbit papilloma virus (CRPV), which causes a form of cancerous growths, usually near the head, that can resemble either horns or fangs.

Although it has a formidable appearance for such a small creature, the wolpertinger is usually a shy beast. It is supposedly attracted to beautiful young women. To capture it, a young woman should accompany a hunter at night, when the creature is active, looking for a secluded area where the creature is likely to nest. Once it reveals itself, the woman should expose her breasts, which for some reason will transfix the creature, making it easy to catch. Many examples of stuffed wolpertingers, composed of several different animal parts, are on display in Bavarian towns, many of which were supposedly caught through this method.

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