Simplified Speech #020 – The curious case of the UVic bunnies

If you walked onto a university campus and saw hundreds of rabbits, you might think you were dreaming, but this was the reality at the University of Victoria for more than 20 years! Still can’t believe it? Join Andrew and Morag in this episode as they talk all about the UVic bunnies and their mysterious disappearance.


Fun fact

At the height of their population, it’s estimated that there were between 1,400 and 2,000 rabbits living on the University of Victoria campus! However, UVic isn’t the only place in Canada to have a problem with large populations of wild bunnies. Canmore and Banff in Alberta, Sudbury in Ontario, and three other locations on Vancouver Island (other than UVic) were once, or are still, populated by large numbers of wild rabbits.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • To pat [somebody] on the back
  • In the first place
  • The flip side
  • Laid back
  • A hippie

Sample transcript

Andrew:           Hey, Morag. How are you?

Morag:              I’m doing pretty well, Andrew. I actually just recently discovered a new hobby that is kinda taking over.

Andrew:           Hmm. It’s becoming an obsession?

Morag:              Just a little, yeah.

Andrew:           You have to share. What is it?

Morag:              Well, modular origami.

Andrew:           Wait, what? Modular origami.

Morag:              Yeah. It’s where you fold lots and lots of the same shape, and you can put them together into crazy, beautiful, big, or complicated shapes. It’s like where math and paper folding and just gorgeous colours meet.

Andrew:           This sounds really cool, but I’m having a difficult time picturing it.

Morag:              Mmhmm.

Andrew:           So you take many different pieces of paper or just one piece of paper?

Morag:              Many different pieces.

Andrew:           Can you make things other than geometric shapes? Like could you make an animal, for example? Or is it all math based?

Morag:              It’s all math based. But you can do things like M.C. Escher where they’re impossible shapes. So you can have things that look like they’re passing through one another in impossible ways, but it’s just from paper.

Andrew:           Wow. Optical illusions made of paper.

Morag:              Mmhmm, optical illusion origami. Pretty amazing.

Andrew:           Morag, would it be possible for you to take a picture of one of your creations so we could all see it?

Morag:              I have no problem with that. I would love to share.

Andrew:           Awesome. Well, everybody, check out our Facebook page for a picture of Morag’s modular origami.

Morag:              Yeah, that’s it.

Andrew:           OK. Today, Morag, we are going to do a Simplified Speech episode. And in Simplified Speech episodes, we have a natural conversation, but we speak at just a little bit of a slower speed than we would in our everyday lives.

And, today, I think we have a really intriguing episode topic. It is The Curious Case of the UVic Bunnies. It’s a good title, right?

Morag:              It’s a very good title.

Andrew:           I thought of it myself, so I will pat myself on the back. I think we should start with … Well, you can answer this question, what is UVic and where is UVic?

Morag:              Well, Andrew, UVic is the colloquial way to refer to the University of Victoria. And that is in Victoria, British Columba, which happens to be where I’m from and where you went to university?

Andrew:           Yes. I went to the University of Victoria, as did you. And I went to UVic between the years 2004 to 2008. What years were you there?

Morag:              I was there 2007 to 2012.

Andrew:           OK. So we had a little overlap. And what stands out in your mind when you think of the UVic campus at that time? Is there something special or unique about the campus?

Morag:              Well, I actually remember I went to high school quite close to the UVic campus, and probably around the time that you first went there.

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english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips