Are drop bears real?


Prepare yourself for a journey into the intriguing world of Australian folklore. Today, my journey is into the legend of the drop bear – a creature shrouded in mystery and whispered about among locals and adventurous travelers alike. As someone who has ventured into the heart of Australia’s wildlife, I am here to share my experiences and shed light on the burning question, are drop bears real? Sometimes you might think that I am crazy. But I hope that you will read this until the end.


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Are drop bears real
Are drop bears real?


The drop bear myths

 Just Picture this: a large, tree-living pouched mammal resembling a fearsome predator closely related to the adorable koala. As the legend goes, the drop bear gets its name from its uncanny ability to ‘drop’ from the treetops onto unsuspecting prey below. With coarse orange fur and dark mottled patterns, it cuts an imposing figure comparable to a leopard or a particularly hefty dog. Its powerful forearms aid in both climbing and securing its prey, while its broad premolars serve as formidable biting tools. The best thing is these drop bears are not Koalas or snow bears. Not even leopards or lions. Not even monsters.


Habitat and distribution

Are drop bears real
Are drop bears real?

According to all the stories, drop bears inhabit the dense forests of Australia, particularly the Great Dividing Range in the southeastern regions. They prefer closed canopy forests and the fringes of dense woodlands, shunning human habitation and urban areas. Reports of drop bear sightings in Southeast South Australia, the Mount Lofty Ranges, and Kangaroo Island have surfaced.


Feeding habits and techniques


As the tales go, drop bears are skilled hunters that lie in wait, perched atop trees, ready to ambush their unsuspecting prey. Patiently, they wait for hours until the perfect moment arrives. When the opportunity presents itself, the drop bear descends from its lofty perch, plummeting as much as eight meters to deliver a surprise attack on its target. The initial impact stuns the victim, allowing the drop bear to bite the prey’s neck, quickly overpowering it swiftly.


Despite their imposing presence, drop bears target medium to large mammals as their primary food source. Astonishingly, they are known to tackle prey larger than themselves, such as macropods. Should the prey be small enough, drop bears effortlessly haul their catch back up into the safety of the treetops to feast without disturbance from other predators.


Separating fact from fiction


Now, let’s address the crucial question: are drop bears a genuine threat to humans? Urban legends often focus on bushwalkers being “dropped on” by these elusive creatures, resulting in injuries ranging from lacerations to occasional bites. However, it’s essential to note that most incidents are considered accidental, with no documented cases of fatal encounters.


Curiously, several folk remedies have been suggested as repellents against drop bears. Urban legends mention placing forks in your hair or spreading Vegemite or toothpaste behind your ears to ward off these creatures. However, it’s important to understand that no scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of these alleged repellents.


Unraveling the truth


While the legends have undoubtedly captured our imaginations, extensive research and scientific evidence suggest that drop bears exist solely within myth and storytelling. The stories, however, continue to be passed down through generations, adding a touch of mystery and excitement to Australia’s rich cultural tapestry.



In the land Down Under, the line between reality and myth can blur as captivating tales weave into the fabric of Australian folklore. The legend of drop bears displays this, captivating both locals and visitors alike. While we may never encounter a true drop bear during our adventures, the stories and the thrill, they inspire continue to make Australia a unique and enchanting destination.


So, the next time you wander through the Australian bush, keep your eyes peeled but don’t let the drop bear tales dampen your spirit of exploration. Instead, embrace the enchantment of folklore, knowing that the true wonders of Australia’s diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes await your discovery.


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