back to article Boffins propose satnav tracking for 'KILLER KOALAS'

A confession: when Australians meet tourists worried their holidays will be disturbed by dangerous animals – sharks, spiders, snakes, crocodiles and jellyfish are all prevalent here in Vulture South – they often slip in a mention of a little-known but very menacing marsupial: the drop bear. The drop bear is, according to this …


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  1. John Tserkezis

    They're as real as you want them to be.

    If you've never heard a koala roar, it sounds sorta like a wild pig. You wouldn't believe that such a huge noise can come from such a small cute cuddly animal - that looks like a teddy bear no less. Albeit with claws.

    That said, a friend in the army used to perpetuate the Drop Bear myth to his fellow cadets-in-training, claming they should leave their candy rations at the foot of their tents so the Drop Bears will take those, otherwise they'll take to nibbling on their toes. With full intent of taking the candy himself. :-)

    No-one believed him of course.

    Till soon afterwards around their campfire sharing more stories, just by sheer luck, a koala accidently falls out of a tree, screams its guts out on the way down, then splashes into the shallow end of the lake they were near. Along with the frustrated grumbling as it dragged itself out of the water back into the bush again.

    Cue the cadets scrambling to find their candy, placing them carefully at the foot of their tents...

    1. Mako
      Thumb Up

      Re: They're as real as you want them to be.

      This has absolutely made my morning. Thank you!

    2. JibberJabberBadger

      Re: They're as real as you want them to be.

      Very nice story - but we don't eat "candy" here in Australia....

  2. LaeMing

    Whenever a politician poses with a koala, the blessed beast invariably pees on them. For this we are glad to recognise the koala as a true Australian.

  3. Colin Miller

    This is why…

    … some Aussies were pointy-hats, with corks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is why…

      Were they? What are they now?

      1. Colin Miller

        Re: This is why…

        Aye, I noticed my typo after I posted my comment.

        All hail Tpyos!

  4. Malc

    Gummy Bears

    Too much Gummy Juice,

    that is all

  5. JassMan Silver badge

    Calling it a drop BEAR is a clue

    Stating that the Drop bear is closely related to a Koala makes it obvious that the psudoscientific articles are a blag. Koalas are more closely related to wombats and kangaroos than they are to any bear.

    1. andreas koch

      @JassMan - Re: Calling it a drop BEAR is a clue

      You, sir, are a true descendant of the great sleuth.

      No sh*t.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @JassMan - Calling it a drop BEAR is a clue

        and 'civet cats' aren't felines nor were 'Tasmanian tigers'. 'Sea cucumbers' are animals, not plants, 'sea horses' are not true equines. The great monitor lizards of the island of Komodo aren't dragons. Tasmanian devils aren't demons, etc.

        People call things by what they appear to be when they are handing out names. That is why 'chilli peppers' are called 'peppers'- they tasted a bit like the pepper the old-world explorers of the new-world were familiar with.

        1. Colin Millar

          Re: @AC 01:50 Calling it a drop BEAR is a clue

          Actually - it's not just Tazzy tigers that aren't felines. Not even real tigers are felines.

        2. LaeMing

          The great lizards of the island of Komodo

          Aren't LCD displays either. :-P

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Calling it a drop BEAR is a clue

      This is true. Several of my cousins are Koalas.

  6. Thorne

    They're real!

    A drop bear once bit my sister ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They're real!

      Think we've got a new verse to the song, sung to the tune of 'Camp Down Ladies', that already includes the lines:

      "Who's that bear over there?

      Bigs tits, blond hair.

      Who's that bear over there?

      Dani, Dani Behr"

  7. SteveCarr

    It's all true! Trust me!

    <IMG SRC=>

  8. xpusostomos

    They can't even get their story straight. The museum page says it lacks canine teeth. But that photo sure looks like canines.

  9. Martin Budden

    Spoiler alert? Seriously.

    Next you'll be telling the kids that Sant...... no, I can't type that.

    1. taxman
      Big Brother

      Re: Spoiler alert? Seriously.

      ...that Santander isn't really a bank?

    2. Santa from Exeter

      Re: Spoiler alert? Seriously.

      That Santa actually doesn't live at the North Pole?

      1. cortland

        Re: Spoiler alert? Seriously.

        Of course not. He's at the EAST Pole. Far East.

  10. Neoc

    A friend of ours (quite a few years back now) came over from the US during a break in her University studies. We were all having drinks one evening when one of us mentioned the Drop Bears. Maybe it was the alcohol, but the rest of us picked up the clue and started frightening the poor girl for a good half hour until we broke up and laughed.

    She was very annoyed at us.

    Cue three months later after her return to the States, we get a phone call from her. Amidst the rest of the news updates, she tells us she did the "drop-bear joke" on her room-mate and now understands why we did it to her. ^_^

    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      It is fun

      Daughters distant acquaintance came out from some remote province in yankland recently. Drop bears reduced his desire to wonder among the trees for a while.

  11. Dave 126 Silver badge

    What about those prehistoric crocodiles that hung by their tails from trees, were they real or made-up? Next your going tell tell me tall stories about some animal with the bill of the duck and the body of an otter. Yeah, right.

    1. cortland

      We have the Tree Octopus and the Mountain Walrus.

      Unbelievable beer, too -- of the "I can't believe this is beer" type.

  12. julianh72

    Drop Bears have been part of the Australian "landscape" as long as I can remember!

    I first heard of "Drop Bears" in the late 1970s at University - foreign students were warned about them as part of their "orientation". It was always interesting to see them look up nervously every time they passed under a gum tree. After a couple of years, we didn't have to warn the new students, as their expatriate friends were warning them about the Drop Bears before they even left for Australia.

  13. cortland

    It might boomerang on them

    Didn't Terry Pratchett copyright that? (The Last Continent)

  14. mIRCat

    Not real? Try telling that to my grand dad.

    Next you'll be saying no ones ever really seen a penguin.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Far OUt.

    That is MY picture of the drop bear with fangs...

    I put it up as a Wikipedia entry, and they deleted the whole web page.


    Nice to see it's still getting around.

  16. DJ 2

    I knew about the Drop bear story before an Aussie friend of mine stated telling me about it.

    After quietly listening to the story while drinking my beer. I said.

    "I've heard of the Drop Bear before, evidently it is the number one killer of Australian cowboys, you see the saddle is way up high on the kangaroos back and that makes them an easier target".

    Nose full of Guiness.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      "the saddle is way up high on the kangaroos back "

      LOL :)

  17. Wombling_Free
    Thumb Up

    Further dangerous Australian fauna

    The dry country / scrubland sub-species - LEAP bears. Attracted to taller mammals looking UP to guard against drop bears.

    Narguns. Actually THE Nargun, there is only one. Currently living in the Hunter Valler, it just eats you. Looks like a boulder during the day. Said to be 'watching the stars wheel' so it's either a relative of Cthulu, or is going to take cthulu down. I'm betting on the Nargun. You should always rub some earth on you out in the bush because it fools the Nargun into thinking you are part of the earth. VERY good advice. Vegemite behind the ears will also work.

    Aquatic Funnel Web Spiders. Think you're safe in the pool? Think that spider on the bottom is dead because it's been there two weeks and hasn't moved? You've just met the AQUATIC Funnel Web Spider. They like to go for a swim when it gets hot, and have to wait for a human to climb up to get back out. Since a Funnel Web Spider's default mood is 'PISSED OFF AT ENTIRE UNIVERSE' this is not a good thing.

    Some of the above is BS, by the way, but NOT all of it! The spider bit is true, as is using dirt to scare away Narguns.

    1. LaeMing

      Re: Further dangerous Australian fauna

      Aye! No-one that used dirt, or Vegemite behind the ears has EVER been got by the Nargun.

  18. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Ony one known way

    To control drop bear population is to introduce land octopi in the area of infestation as they naturally compete for the same habitat.

    1. xpusostomos

      Re: Ony one known way

      It's a good solution to the drop bear, but the land octopi then have to be rooted out with tree-dwelling platypus.

  19. david 12 Bronze badge


    Sorry. Jokes about Jokes are just about as funny as articles about articles.

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