Drop Bears : the Forgotten Australian Animal

Everyone knows about Australia’s phenomenal wildlife. Kangaroos! Koalas! Wombats! These fuzzy little dudes draw many tourists to Australia — who doesn’t want to cuddle with a koala? For better or for worse, kangaroos, koalas, and a plethora of other Aussie critters (Platypuses! Echidnae! Emus!) have become Australian icons. Unfortunately another, lesser-known animal native to Australia is often forgotten…

Have you ever heard of the drop bear? The drop bear, which lives predominantly in Queensland, is much like a koala, except it is larger. And has vicious fangs. And poisonous claws. Unlike their mild-mannered koala cousins, drop bears wait patiently for unsuspecting passer-by to stroll beneath the tree they are sitting in… and then they drop onto their human targets (hence the name “drop bear”) and claw the poor person to shreds. Yikes.

drop bear koala australia

A scientifically accurate depiction of an Australian drop bear

Scared out of your mind? No worries! Luckily for you, these fearsome creatures are just a product of Aussie humour. Aussies love to joke, and one of the fantastic perks of studying in Australia is getting to experience Australian culture with the locals. Aussies may tell foreigners about drop bears as a good-humoured joke: to share some Australian folklore and have a laugh together. What better way to integrate into the culture?

Studying in Australia is, of course, about getting a world-class education. But it is also about cultural immersion, adapting to local customs, and getting friendly with the locals. So when you pack your bags for your semester Down Under, don’t forget your funny bone!

You can read more about Australian culture, including Australian humour, on our website here.


1 Comment

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One response to “Drop Bears : the Forgotten Australian Animal

  1. Drop Bears are not myths but are very rare and endangered marsupials known as Yowies to indigenous people, never found near people they are believed to live in small colonies in dense forest of Queensland NSW Victoria and Tasmania. Sightings are rare and hard to confirm. There is a lot of yarns told about them to scare tourist, but they are in need of protection before they become extinct.

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