Thursday, April 11, 2013

Theodore Roosevelt Writes about Swamp Rabbits

Swamper Swimming by Gay Brantley
Theodore Roosevelt recorded events of his 1907 bear hunting trip on the Tensas Bayou in northeast Louisiana in an article called "In The Louisiana Canebrakes."
Here was his description of the swamp rabbits that he saw.
"Coon and 'possum were very plentiful, and in the streams there were minks and a few otters.  Black squirrels barked in the tops of the tall trees or descended to the ground to gather nuts or gnaw the shed deer antlers - the latter a habit they shared with the wood rats.  To me the most interesting of the smaller mammals, however, were the swamp rabbits, which are thoroughly amphibious in their habits, not only swimming but diving, and taking to the water almost as freely as if they were muskrats.  Thy lived in the depths of the woods and beside the lonely bayous."


  1. I never thought of rabbits as swimming. How gorgeous the wildlife was back then. It seems we have far less of it now and much more hidden.

  2. Swamp rabbits are the only rabbits known to swim. Swimming is a valuable skill if one lives in an environment that seasonally floods. Swamper swims to survive in Letter #5 and Letter #7. Yes, the Tensas Swamp was wild and magnificent at the beginning of the 20th century. Imagine standing on the bluffs at Vicksburg and looking out over a vast swampland. What a sight that must have been.