Friday, December 9, 2022

Title: Drop Bear- Why it Scares Tourists

 Author: Rachael Gilmore

Imagine being in an Australian forrest, then suddenly an animal is falling from the treetops attacking you. You try to run and knock it off you, but its razor-sharp teeth have sunk into the pink, tender flesh on your neck. You later die from blood loss due to an animal you never knew existed. In Australia, there is an animal that is rumored to be between the size of a leopard and a very large dog called the Drop Bear.

Drop Bear

According to the Australian Museum, the drop bear is around the size of a leopard or a very large dog with coarse orange fur and some darker mottled patterning. They supposedly hunt by ambushing ground-dwelling animals from above, waiting to make a surprise kill. 

Many sources have said that the only way to protect yourself is to slather yourself with Vegemite and speak in an Australian accent. National Geographic claims otherwise, though. “This is all nonsense, of course. There are no carnivorous koalas with a taste for tourists hanging around the eucalyptus trees of Australia” (National Geographic). 

National Geographic has suggested a similar species "prowled Australia during the last Ice Age." They believe that the ancient Thylacoleo animals were the ancestors of this animal.There are many similarities between the Thylacoleo and the Drop Bear. According to NatGeo, they both look very similar in the patterning of the fur, the size, and the size of their teeth. 

Dr. Volker Janssen, a research associate at the University of Tasmania, led a team of researchers into Morton National Park, right outside of Sydney, searching for drop bears. Previous studies conducted show that drop bears hunt by ambushing ground-dwelling animals from above in treetops. Once prey is within their striking range, he says, the drop bear will plummet several meters out of the tree, skilfully latching onto the neck of its victim.

Works Cited: 

Middleton, Amy. “Drop Bears Target Tourists, Study Says.” Australian Geographic, 9 Dec. 2021,

“Drop Bear.” The Australian Museum, NSW Government, 2022,

Westcott, Ben. “The True and Unadulterated History of the Drop Bear, Australia's Most Deadly -- and Most Fake -- Predator.” CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Dec. 2020, CNN provides live coverage and analysis of breaking news, as well as a full range of international, political, business, entertainment, sports, health, science, and weather coverage, and topical, in-depth interviews. This article aims to inform its reader that no Australian believes the Drop Bear exists. The main purpose of the myth is to scare foreign visitors. This source is unique because CNN describes the true reaction visitors get when locals tell them about the myth and how the story of the Drop Bear was created to scare Australian children into being good. This article was very helpful because this was the only article that had the origin and use of this myth. This article intended to reach people researching what they should know before going to Australia.

Links for Further Research: 

Arman, S., Prideaux, G. 2016. Behaviour of the Pleistocene marsupial lion deduced from claw marks in a southwestern Australian cave. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep21372

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