20 Years of Haigh’s Chocolate Easter Bilby

February 14, 2013

The bilby is a very cute little marsupial animal, native to Australia.

This small burrowing bandicoot used to be found in its millions, living across 70% of our country. Sadly, over the past 200 years, settlement and clearing, plus the introduction of rabbits, foxes and feral cats, pushed this animal almost to extinction.

It was back in 1991 that the Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia (RFA) first created the Easter Bilby as a symbol of native fauna and flora conservation. This was to draw public attention to the damage caused to the Australian environment by rabbit populations and to the plight of the bilby.

The bilby and its struggle for survival is symbolic of many of our small native animals whose habitat has been adversely affected by wild rabbits.

The first Chocolate Easter Bilby
In 1993 we joined forces with the RFA and began making chocolate Easter Bilbies; a massive hit with our customers.  So much so that within years two years we made the decision to stop making chocolate Easter bunnies altogether and have since have sold over 500,000 chocolate Easter Bilbies.

Donation and Sponsorship
Part proceeds from our chocolate Easter Bilbies goes to the RFA and their work to protect the environment for both indigenous biodiversity and food production.

Over the years, we have also become more involved with saving the bilby by partnering with the Adelaide Zoo.

We are very proud to be major sponsors of the Adelaide Zoo’s purpose built bilby exhibit, which is part of the Nocturnal House. It’s a comfy open plan environment for the bilbies so you can get a peek at how they live in their natural habitat. Since the exhibit opened, many healthy baby bilbies have been born – a great success for this important breeding program and good news for the future of the species.

Bouncing back
Thanks to increased awareness and lots of hard work by a number of organisations and government departments around the country, the bilby is starting to make a comeback but continues to be listed as an endangered species.

How you can help
Every Easter make sure you buy a Haigh’s chocolate Easter Bilby.  Every time you do, you’ll be helping to save this precious little Australian marsupial. And if you’d like to find out more about all the good work being done to save the bilby’s habitat, please visit Conservation Ark at Zoos SA www.zoossa.com.au or  Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia www.rabbitfreeaustralia.org.au

To celebrate 20 years of the Haigh’s chocolate Easter Bilby a morning tea was held on February 15 at the Adelaide Zoo.

Haigh’s joint Managing Director Simon Haigh and RFA President Nicholas Newland greeted guests at the Zoo’s Bilby Exhibit within the Nocturnal House.

Presidents of RFA (past & present) with Managing Director Simon Haigh, pictured left to right Nicholas Newland RFA President, Simon Haigh, Dr Ed McCallister, Dr Rob Morrison