Australian folklore is filled with amazing stories of mythyical creatures such as the Bunyip and stories about strange lights shining in the desert.
A favourite of mine is the unusal and non poisoneous
snake that grabs its tail and rolls all over the place, this is called
the Hoop Snake.
But the one folklore story that I find is the best and perhaps the closest to the truth is the one about the Australian Dropbear.
The Killer Australian Drop Bear
The Dropbear is reported to be around about the size of a medium sized dog.
It is said to be totally covered in a coarse, thick, grey fur.
Its legs and arms are used to climb the trees it inhabits, with sharp, dangerous looking claws on the ends of each limb.
One report stated that it was observed when the drop bear opened its mouth to scream, it showed that it had 2 long vampire like teeth protruding from either side of it's mouth, these probably would be used to rip apart its prey.
Although never reported to having killed a human as yet, attacks from these feral creatures have been known to happen...so they say.
The animal is carnivorous with its prey being mainly smaller marsupials and ground dwelling birds. It hunts during the day and sleeps at night.
Living high up in the top of trees, the dropbear is said to simply fall out of the tree on top of its prey thus knocking it out.
Visitors to Australia have been warned to be aware that this could happen when walking through densely treed areas.
It is reported that Dropbears can be found in selected areas of Australia.
The map here shows black areas where the killer bears have been sighted.
I do stress that this is only hear say and no actual proof of a sighting has been formally recorded.
Typical Drop Bear Tree Canopy Habitat
The dropbear has never been sighted crossing roads or highways however the predominance of signage suggests that wandering too far into the bush either side of the road could present a rather nasty surprise.
Bushwalking can be dangerous sometimes, with stories being reported that these creatures can drop unexpectedly onto tourist heads. The creature appears to discern a local from a touist by observing the language being spoken.
It is quite unusual for an english speaking person to be attacked...so they say.
An attack usually results in a few nasty bites or lacerations, no fatalities have ever been reported...as yet.
Another observed fact, is that the animal makes an alarmingly loud noise as it drops from the tree above, thus making its imminent attack more obvious...that's a good thing I would say.
There are several deterrants that have been suggested to help prevent the drop bear from landing on your head as you wander through the bush. These are ...
Use Vegemite As A Way To Protect Yourself From The Dropbear