Living in Australia, we seemed to have hit the jackpot when it comes to weird, wacky and dangerous animals. It seems everything is out to kill you. Sharks, snakes, spiders, crocodiles … we have some of the deadliest critters in the world.

Cute but dangerous

But even our wacky ones have a deadly side. Kangaroos look all cute and cuddly, but an Aussie knows better than to approach one in the wild. That tail and the claws can do some serious damage!

Our platypus has a poisonous back spur. Our dingoes steal babies! Seriously — they have been known to attack small children. Even our echidna has barbs!

Then there are the drop bears [Thylarctos plummetus]. The drop bear legend tells of a large, arboreal, predatory marsupial related to the koala that ‘drops’ on its prey from trees. It lives in a closed-canopy forest, is about the size of a large dog. It has coarse orange fur, sometimes mottled with a darker color. You can tell when you are approaching their territory by the eerie vocalization, which is similar to a koala, but more guttural.

How can you save yourself from drop bears?

It is said that folk remedies such as having forks in your hair, spreading Vegemite or toothpaste behind your ear or talking in an Australian accent can help! The really hate an Australian accent.

If you are planning on visiting Australia — especially the Outback — check in with a local who can tell you where you can safely go without fear of the drop bear! Remember beware of the drop bear. Play it safe in the Outback.

Do you know a drop bear from a koala?

Now that I have your attention … it’s actually a red tree kangaroo! Yes, a tree kangaroo.

Happy April Fools’ Day!