dropbear safety equipment is full on
January 14, 2020 9:22 PM   Subscribe

While covering the catastrophic bushfires at Kangaroo Island, Scottish journalist Debi Edward was given the chance to hold some local fauna: specifically, a ferocious drop bear.

Of course, this was all a prank, some light-hearted humour in the midst of devastating destruction and tragedy.
ABC news article about how the prank unfolded.(CW- some discussion of the impact of the bushfires on Koala (and human) population. (Link above fold fairly safe.))
posted by freethefeet (33 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Whoever's job it was to prepare the Scottish journalist was totally un-koala-fied.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:51 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]


I don't find the humor in the humiliation/joke, but send money to help because this shit is really serious on a level I can't even begin to comprehend. I'm not sure I can link in this comment, but in the article above the fold at the bottom you'll find one.
posted by hippybear at 9:59 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


send money to help because this shit is really serious on a level I can't even begin to comprehend

The guy who lives in a burning country has logged on.

If you want some relevant fundraisers try the following:

Help the animals:
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park fundraiser (Kangaroo Island is an important wildlife sanctuary and the entire island has basically been burned)
Kangaroo Island Koala Sanctuary rebuild fundraiser
WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service).
Wildlife Victoria
RSPCA NSW bushfire appeal and Victoria bushfire appeal
WWF recovery fund

Help the people:
Red Cross
St Vincent de Paul's
Victorian Bushfire Appeal (cash grants to affected communities)

I was going to add links to the Rural Fire Services, but Celeste Barber has already raised 50 million for them, and they are government funded already (although insufficiently so). But if you really want to support the firies, the ABC sets out how in this article.

I have been blown away how generous people have been, but on the other hand my dog we need it because coming back from this is going to be so incredibly hard. Especially with our stupid climate change denialist government.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:23 PM on January 14 [35 favorites]


I once watched an Aussie convince a pair of Swedes that drop bears were real, and it was a truly tremendous thing to watch- the hard part was not giggling since I had heard of this particular prank already. This one takes the cake for having a real drop bear to hand.

Poor Kangaroo Island. Tremendous testament to the Australian attitude that they can take a moment to do something truly ludicrous to a reporter during all this, I think it's wonderful. Bravo to all involved.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:36 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


You can tell that was fake drop bear armor, the suit didn't even have a ground harness.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:07 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


If the FB vid link is problematic here is youtube of it.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:11 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I am also not a big fan of pranks, but while I've long known "drop bear" is a joke, this is the first time I've seen it tied explicitly to koalas.
posted by rhizome at 11:15 PM on January 14


Mrs. Wallflower was convinced for over a week that drop bears are real. I told her to look them up, figuring she'd find out right away that it was a hoax, but Google took her to The Australian Museum's drop bear page and we were off and running. I found plenty of video evidence to show her.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:16 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]


The "drop bear" prank is something all Aussie kids receive and then pass on. It's always in good humour and not to humiliate.
posted by chmmr at 12:24 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


I don’t usually like pranks, but the bear and the humans involved are so cute. It’s not really mean-spirited. I watched this video a bunch of times today and I love it.
posted by Sterros at 12:35 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Wait, why is there a pool? Do marsupials like to swim?
posted by Sterros at 12:39 AM on January 15


As an Australian who lived in Scotland and had locals try to pull the wild haggis thing it seems like fair play.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:42 AM on January 15 [18 favorites]


Maybe a rather heavy handed version of what is basically a sly little joke.
posted by Segundus at 2:44 AM on January 15


I cry laughed at this. I think some of the tears were for the tragic fires going on in Australia and humanity's ability to remain, well, human in the face of it.
posted by like_neon at 3:17 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Do marsupials like to swim?

I don't know if they like to swim, but kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and koalas swim.
posted by pracowity at 3:46 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Jokes on them, Scotland isn’t really a country. it’s just a giant prank by northerners.
posted by interogative mood at 4:18 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Invented in the 1910s by a toffee company, for marketing purposes.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:48 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


it's funny because koalas are cute and fluffy
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:40 AM on January 15


Not a mean prank at all. Similar to in Boy Scouts when we got sent on snipe hunts, or when a plumber sends their apprentice to get a left handled screwdriver.

When I saw the video I just assumed she was playing along with it.
posted by backlikeclap at 6:42 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


humiliation

I was a little surprised when I came across that word in the first article. I mean yeah, it's a prank, they told her a tall tale and got her to do a silly thing, but I thought her smile at the end was sincerely delighted, and that's the part that had me laughing along with her. I didn't see her as humiliated at all.
posted by solotoro at 6:46 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]


she seems to have been a good sport about it
posted by thelonius at 6:49 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Invented in the 1910s by a toffee company, for marketing purposes.

That's the tale Big Shortbread would like you to believe.
posted by jaduncan at 7:23 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Don't worry, we'll happily let visiting Australians go into the cage and stroke the nice harmless kitty
posted by scruss at 8:02 AM on January 15


It seemed mean spirited to me too. When I watched it, I just saw a bunch of dudes trying to scare a female reporter unnecessarily.
posted by EllaEm at 8:10 AM on January 15


I can only speak for how I would feel if this had been done to me: humiliated, shamed.

this was all a prank, some light-hearted humour

"It was just a joke," the eternal calling-card of the bully who's been noticed.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:31 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


I enjoyed being fooled by a drop bear story and hope others get the same pleasure out of it. I mean, the reveal is an adorable koala.

Also, are we all aware now that wombats are large? That surprised me.
posted by asperity at 8:46 AM on January 15


I can only speak for how I would feel if this had been done to me: humiliated, shamed.

this was all a prank, some light-hearted humour

"It was just a joke," the eternal calling-card of the bully who's been noticed.
Playing a prank on an adult journalist seems pretty low on the "bullying" spectrum--maybe just above writing "wash me" in the dust on a car window. And after all, she did get to hold a koala.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:53 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]


Similar to in Boy Scouts when we got sent on snipe hunts

This really got me thinking about my reaction to the post! My dad changed schools a lot when he was a kid, and he told us about the snipe hunt once as something he was taken on one night as he was making friends at a new school. He led us through going out into the woods, having the bag and the flashlight...I think the friends might have even brought guns (rural). He'd describe the setup, the other kids going out into the dark with him shining the flashlight into the bag, and then as I remember it: that's the end of the story. Abandoned! He was a terrible storyteller.
posted by rhizome at 9:11 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Also, are we all aware now that wombats are large? That surprised me.

About as large as a medium-sized dog and surprisingly heavy. I suppose it's the weight of the square-poo machinery. Koalas, OTOH, are as delightfully cozy and fluffy as they look. However, they're not domesticated animals; don't try grabbing a wild one or you'll find out how powerful those tree-piercing claws can be.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:27 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


And after all, she did get to hold a koala.

And wear some badass-looking body armor. If I were her, I would definitely have gotten a personal photo posing with the "drop bear" while still suited up. She looks ready to kick ass and take marsupials.
posted by biogeo at 3:24 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Needs tag "FuckingAussies"
posted by Gotanda at 4:20 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


The 'mild' venom was a nice touch.

"It was just a joke," the eternal calling-card of the bully who's been noticed.

See, the thing about the dropbear prank, and why it's so beloved by Australians, is that it's a bit different from left-handed screwdrivers and the like, where you're exploiting understandable ignorance and enthusiasm. Key to the whole prank is trying to dazzle the target with authoritative-sounding bullshit, which gives the target opportunity to realise they're being had, and teaches the valuable lesson that authority is not to be trusted.
posted by Merus at 4:59 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


And now she is going to be all nonchalant when a real drop bear attacks her.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:01 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]


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