Drop bears and Subgenii

The fearsome Drop Bear is detailed in this forwarded snippet from the forteana list.:

Drop bears are often mistaken for koalas, and to all but a trained naturalist, the differences are minor. They have even been reported to imitate the sleepy demeanor of their genetic cousins, probably as a sort of behavioural camouflage, and roughly one third of all drop bear related fatalities occur when a well-meaning tourist tries to pose with one for a souvenir photograph.

More here. Thankfully I managed to avoid these creatures while camping through Victoria last year — only just about though.

In other news: a great SFWeekly feature on Hal Robins, aka. Dr. Howland Owll of the CotSG.

Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 07:42:52 +1000
From: Peter Darben (spam-protected)
To: Forteana List (spam-protected)
Subject: The secret is finally out

While ploughing through the rapidly growing pile of Dungeon/Polyhedron magzines on my desk I found this little gem

—– (for the d20 Modern Gaming System from Dungeon/Polyhedron June, 2003)

Drop Bear

Although the Australian government officially denies the drop bear’s existence, these bloodthirsty relatives of the peaceful koala are the bane of Australia’s parks and forests. Named for their preferred of attack – hurtling down from the shelter of trees onto the heads of unsuspecting prey

  • drop bears are responsible for dozens of deaths each year, and the number

climbs with each passing year.

Drop bears are often mistaken for koalas, and to all but a trained naturalist, the differences are minor. They have even been reported to imitate the sleepy demeanor of their genetic cousins, probably as a sort of behavioural camouflage, and roughly one third of all drop bear related fatalities occur when a well-meaning tourist tries to pose with one for a souvenir photograph.

The internal government conspiracy to disavow the existence of drop bears relates to Australia’s recent tourism marketing. They certainly can’t sell visitors on the idea of coming to Australia if the visitors knew they were going to be savaged by vicious wild animals masquerading at cuddly koalas. Though the Australians themselves are aware that certain chemical repellents such as Aeroguard are effective in discouraging drop bear attacks, forestry service rangers are forbidden by law from explaining exactly why they so heartily recommend it. But as the drop bears’ natural food source, rabbits, are gradually reduced in population, it is only a matter of time before the drop bears turn to more plentiful prey : man.

[nerdish gaming stats omitted]

—–

peter

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