Myth, Legend or Real Australian Marsupial?


Folklore has it that Drop Bears are distant cousins of Koalas.  Very large, heavily built, carnivorous marsupials, with large canines and razor sharp claws, that hang upside down from trees, and drop onto any prey, man or beast, that comes it’s way.


The aims of this society:

1]   To conduct research into the existence of Drop Bears.

2]    Lobby Governments to enact laws to protect these animals if they do exist.

3]    Promote public awareness.

4]    To sort fact from fiction about these animals.

5]    To elevate the status of Drop Bears to true Australian icons.


If you think Drop Bears are pure modern fiction, think again.  Paleantologists have found skeletal remains of large carnivorous marsupials, like a wombat the size of grizzly bears, and 3mt + tall kangaroos, and many more.  These are checkable facts, research conducted by Universities over many years, on the Riversliegh site in central Queensland, hasn’t discovered any evidence of Drop Bears to date, but many previously unknown species and sub species, have been found and the investigations are continuing to this day, so the idea of a large marsupial evolving to live in trees, is not only possible but quite likely.


Australia is an ancient land that was once part of a great southern super continent called “gondwanna land” and due to continental drift, has been isolated for many millions of years.  There have been many scientific papers published by very credible scientists, that suggest these large carnivorous marsupials, either drove out or killed off other large animals that were around at this time.


Indiginous Australians, whose ancestors are known to have lived here for well over 40,000 years, have many stories about animals that may well be Drop Bears.  There are many legends amongst tribal groups about “Yowies and Bunyips”, universally described, as large hairy manlike creatures, that hunt by night and viciously attack anything that comes their way, usually found around billabongs, sound familiar?  These people were terrified of these creatures, yet these same people fearlessly hunted large goanna like reptiles, known to have grown to lengths of over 7mts.  There are also lots of stories the origins of which are lost in time, too many to list here, but here are a couple of examples:  The “Min-Min Lights” of western Queensland, a region of dense scrubland, Aboriginal legend has it, that if you were to enter this area to discover the origins of these strange lights, you will never return or be seen again.  Black Mountain, far north Queensland, another area, it is said, where people who enter are never seen again.


The dismissal, as just fairy tales, by the scientific community, has meant very little , if any, research has ever been done into the existence, or otherwise, of these creatures, in earlier times or still living today.  When Platypuses were first scientifically described by Europeans, it was dismissed by the Royal Society of Natural History, as fairy tales.  Even when presented with a complete skin, it was declared to be a hoax.  Their opinion was only swayed, when presented with a live animal.


The Myths Surrounding Drop Bears.


These appear to have entered popular Australian culture, after the release of the release of the book “The Last Continent” by Terry Pratchett, about a fictitious Australia like continent, full of wizards and strange creatures.  Maybe this is pure fantasy, or maybe it is based, at least in part, on myths and legends.  Australians by nature turn such things into jokes, childrens bedtime stories, and tall tales to tell gullable tourists, hence the expression “sucked in”, from this has sprung all kinds of stories to explain strange disappearances and happenings, everything from the safety clothes you must wear, to smearing Vegemite over your body, even liberal dosings of Aeroguard, it is claimed will protect you from attacks.  Then there is the conspiracy theories, involving governments forcefully suppressing anything about Drop Bears, to protect the tourism industry. Drop Bears have been blamed for everything from the death of Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, to the disappearance of Azaria Chambelain, just to name a few.


It is an aim of this society to separate out these fanciful myths, so serious public debate can commence.




Ever since European settlement, there are many instances recorded of strange happenings that need closer investigation, with an open mind, and maybe find some true answers.  Just one case for such research is “Panther Country”, ranging across the border of Victoria and New South Wales.  Since the mid forties, there have been reports of animals on properties bordering this rugged and isolated bushland, being viciously killed and ripped to pieces.  It is commonly believed to be the work of a Panther, either released or escaped from American Servicemen during the war, but as the years go on, and the attacks continue, this idea is becoming less and less likely.  In recent years, a shredded carcass of a sheep was forensically examined.  The conclusions were that, no feline DNA was found, yet traces of an unknown DNA were found.  The claw marks, although believed not to be man made, could not be matched to any known species. 

Then there are the reports, from the early days of the colonies, when Europeans disappeared, or whose mutilated bodies were found.   When questioned by constables, Indigenous people usually claimed the Yowie did it.  Could this be the first recorded cases of Drop Bear attacks.

If Drop Bears do exist they must be very rare, and for this reason must be protected.  Laughable you say?  In America “Big Foot” or “Sashquash” to the indigenous people, has been afforded just such protection, just in case they do exist.  Shouldn’t our own Government afford Drop Bears the same protection, just in case they do exist, or will the Government wait until someone shoots one just to prove their existence.  The problem with our present laws to protect native fauna is, first, it must be proven an animal is native.  This could take years of forensic investigation, and government debate.  In the meantime leaving Drop Bears, if they do exist, no protection at all.


There are periodic scientific searches conducted to find evidence that Thylacines [Tasmanian Tigers] are not extinct.  It is thought there may be colonies of these animals living in regions of dense bushland, like the vast, mostly unexplored region of south west Tasmania.  If it is believed that Thylacines are maybe still living in such places, isn’t it also possible that Drop Bears also live here undetected?  Then there is the case of the Wollami Pine, known of, but believed to be extinct for many millions of years, recently found growing, not in dense unexplored remote bushland, but in the middle of a National Park, and not by scientists or rangers, but by a bushwalker, with enough botanical knowledge to realize there was something very different about this tree.  He too, was treated with suspicion and skepticism, until scientists confirmed his discovery.

If an arboreal animal was able to disguise it’s shape to look like a burl, how many people, both laymen and scientist alike, if they looked up, would notice it?


It’s for these reasons this society was founded.