Scientific name throatsremovis
Drop bears are the evil cousin of the koala, and are in many ways similar. Their basic outward appearance isn't very different, as well as color and habitat. They are shy creatures and avoid contact with any animal. It is believed that they kill any living thing that abuses the privacy the bears feel they are entitled to.
Their habitat puts them into contact with their prey, but due to their shyness they reside mostly in sparsely populated areas, but sadly these areas are also commonly visited by tourists. They sleep and live in trees, coming to ground level only to eat or drink. Despite their rather large, awkward appearance they are extremely agile in trees. It is only when on the ground they become uncoordinated and is rare to see a drop bear walking a straight line on a flat surface, let alone seeing them at all.
The physical appearance of a drop bear is much like the koala. They are gray to light brown in color, though there is the likelihood of the rare albino drop bear. Their coloring allows them to pass for koalas, blend into their surrounds and absorb less of the hot Australian sun. An odd jaw structure allows for their 6 inch fangs to be hidden within their mouths, and as their 2 to 3 inch claws can be retracted, just like cats, on the outside they appear just like their herbivorous cousin. Their bottom is more firm and padded, and can appear as though callouses have formed on them. This is from their method of hunting. They are fairly heavy creatures, and can weigh up to and over 15 kilograms.
It is not known for certain just how they attack and kill their prey. They feast most often on kangaroos, but also on any other moving thing that passes by when they feel hungry. This includes dingoes, wombats, snakes, mice, emus and people. Ravenous drop bears have been observed to drop onto and tear apart a leaf caught in a gust of wind.
They probably work in packs to avoid the chosen victim escaping, but even so lone drop bears are common and so even a single tree in the middle of nothingness is not a wise choice for a shady place to sleep. While they do attack at day they are night hunters and are more active then. During the dusk and dawn a pack of drop bears will assemble around the chosen location, or simply wake up if it is their home. As both food and trees in which to await the food in are generally found around a watering hole this is where most of the attacks occur. They have a leader, traditionally the strongest male though some say that females will take up the crown should no worthy man present himself. The leader will select the prey and communicate with variations on sign and body language tell the other hunters in the pack which creature(s) are to feed them that day.
The drop bears wait until the prey is beneath one of the hunters, and then they begin to drop. By dropping on the head of the prey it becomes at least stunned, if not unconscious, and then the bears feast. Like a pride of lions the leader feeds first, and the youngest of the pack feed last. The brain is considered a delicacy by the bears and so it is the leader who eats this, although occasionally it has been observed by careful people that the sick, old and very young are allowed to share in this feast with the leader.
Plans to avoid encounters with drop bears are recommended. Most wildlife experts suggest simply avoiding areas in which attacks are common, but that means one must remain in towns and cities, which can be boring for the avid tourist. Most locals advise against standing for prolonged periods beneath trees or even cliff hangings. Falling asleep beneath a tree is not highly recommended. Camping beneath trees can be done, but avoid even boiling water if you do. Drop bears have learned over time that fires, boiling water and card playing are related to human activity, and so are linked to food. If you are in desperation to not be attacked and killed by these vicious animals I would suggest taking with you a koala. As family orientated creatures they dislike hurting koalas and have never been seen to have the slightest inclination of attacking one.
Few people see drop bears and live to tell the tale, and most of these are bush-wise Australians, who aren't believed because everyone knows we like to have a bit of a laugh at the expense of an American. Drop bears, though, are real creatures, do no believe anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.