The Furby was discovered in China by the Hasbro Company in the year 1997. A very curious creature, it seemed to have fairly limited abilities to move or feed itself or even reproduce. Scientists were baffled by its ability to even exist until they realised that it could somehow manipulate humans to assist it with its basic functions. Today there is still much debate whether the Furby is actually a parasite because of its symbiotic nature and there are even conspiracy theories such as that the Furby is actually not alive but really a manufactured toy.

In 1998 the world started to become obsessed with this new creature and demand skyrocketed. Unfortunately this meant the end of the Furby in its natural habitat as mass hunting and poaching almost bought the species to the brink of extinction. The wild Furby had lead to several horrific deaths of children however so very little was done to stop the trade until it was too late.

In an attempt to satisfy demand for the Furby, Hasbro started an aggressive breeding program which included selective breeding to produce all sorts of new sub species. They also managed to almost breed out the violent behaviour some of the creatures exhibited and partly domesticate them. By Christmas demand was so high that the high street was in chaos. Millions of parents around the world frantically searched all the stores but often tearing their hair out in disappointment.

Chris Smith recalls his experiences:

"Much of my personal regret centres around the fact that I found it very amusing as one of the Furby stockists who had long since sold out, to send my customers on a wild quest to rival Furby traders who I knew were also sold out. I can still hear the cries of the desperate parents when I close my eyes at night"

It took several years and 40 million furbies to fill the demand before consumers fickle attentions shifted to other things like pokemon trading cards and eventually robotic dogs. Sadly these robotic dogs required far less maintenance than the Furbies and so millions of these poor defenceless creatures found themselves homeless or even disguarded in the trash!

For over a decade the species has suffered steady decline not just in population but also in general health and well being. Rare breeds are still sold on the black market and in seedy basements throughout the world furby fights are common.

SoutHACKton members are strongly against the cruel treatment of furbies and actively seek to give Furbies a good home. We take in feral and stray furbies and will be happy to try and heal the sick with our Furby protection and rehabilitation program.

Many of us were concerned last Christmas that history was doomed to repeat itself when Hasbro released an even cuter breed of Furby bread from years of what we suspect to be genetic manipulation. The breeding program this time was carefully implemented but only time will tell what impact these newer breeds have on the existing domestic population.

More information can be found on the anatomy of a Furby by studying Kelly Heaton's amazing drawings. Warning some readers may find these images disturbing.

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