I mentioned in the last post that I am hunting the drop bear. It has been a while, but I am back in Australia for a short visit. In fact, I’m in Brisbane (all the family is in Sydney, and I want to avoid them).
But hunting the drop bear is not a simple task. So, we must research our prey and its habits before we continue.
So, here are ten facts about the drop bear:
1) According to Australian Geographic, drop bears are least likely to attack Australians than they are international tourists. It is not clear why this is the case. It could be due to tone and pitch of the victim’s voice (accent), or the differences of chemical compounds (from food).
2) Australian Geographic states that populations are thought mainly to exist in forested coastal regions of eastern Australia, from the Cape York Peninsula (top pointy bit) to the island mentioned in LOST. However, the concentration of attacks are centralised in the heavily forested regions between Brisbane and Sydney.
3) Australian Geographic claims that drop bears do not travel far from their nests.
4) It is widely believed that drop bears live at the top of trees, and from there attack a passer-by when hungry. This is not entirely accurate. A drop bear usually climbs a tree when stressed or feeling threatened. However, they generally live close to where driftwood collects, near billabongs, so they can easily gather materials to make their own nests.
5) According to the National Office of Predator Prevention (OPP), A drop bear’s nest can be as large as a four man tent. Entering a drop bear’s nest is highly dangerous and is likely to result in fatality. The drop bear will then attack nearby persons or property, to “send a message”.
6) The OPP published statistics last year, which state that in the 2011-12 year, 15 people were killed from attacks caused by a “native bear”, and 26 were critically injured. A further 14 received minor injuries. (it is worth noting that these minor injuries might have been scratches and abrasions caused by fleeing the scene). Attacks have decreased every year for the last 15 years.
7) A drop bear attack can be identified by the gaping teeth marks on the victim’s head and throat. However, contrary to widely accepted belief, a victim is usually killed by suffocation. The bear fits the head in its mouth, due to its extendable jaw.
8) A drop bear prefers thickly covered eucalypti forests. Unlike its koala cousin, it does not feed on the leaves.
9) According to local opinion, Vegemite or yeast extract might be used as a repellent, but as yet there is no scientific evidence to support this.
10) An OPP report titled Native Bear Statistical Report 2011-12 reveals that O’Reilly’s campsite, Mount Tamborine (QLD, close to the NSW border) has had the most reports of drop bear attacks each year since 1953. Previous attacks were thought to be from a variation of wild cat.