|This infant jackalope photograph is the only|
known picture to be authenticated of the
"He was just playing in the front yard," said his horrified father. “I was watching him through the front window when the jack came running into the yard and scooped Harly up in its rack and took off, by the time I was out the door they had disappeared.”
Harland Sr. then broke down. A visibly shaken Beth Johanson said she called the sheriff immediately as her husband chased after the rouge animal. “I guess in that moment I went on instinct.” She continued, “I just lost it after that though, who sees this happening there are like 14 jackalopes in the world.”
Gregory County Sheriff Geoff Seely said that this is the first wild abduction in over 100 years and it is testing his office. “I’m not sure what, how to go forward on this, we haven’t seen anything like this since the Laura Palmer case in 1907.”
Sheriff Seely quickly attempted to cordon off a four square mile area west of the Johanson home with the help of the Pleasant Valley Fire Protection District and wildlife officers. As darkness began to fall on the prairie two days ago though there had been no sign of either Harland Jr. or the jackalope.
In the two days since the abduction, Sheriff’s deputies and other officials have organized a 50 person search team that has begun sweeping through the area between County Roads 50 and 52 and U.S. Highway 18. South Dakota Fish and Game has joined the search with a helicopter and trained rescuers searching beyond the immediate area.
Fish and Game Area Director Gillian Forest explained that it was necessary to assist other authorities but she was discouraged. “To be frank we know so little about the jackalope, there are very few in the wild to study, and there are none in captivity.” She went on, “We have no idea even if the jackalope is a predator or not, my concern now is that it is one, or perhaps it was rabid, or it was protecting it’s young we have no idea. I hate to say it, but I think it may be to late.”