There was a story of interest in the Herald Sun today (no link), about a drop bear attack. Here’s an extract:
Melissa Kerrin, 15, was on a school camping trip at Mt. Macedon National Park when she encountered one of Australia’s most vicious creatures. The year 10 student, a native of the United States, was attacked by a drop bear (koalus ataqus) while hiking along a bush trail in the National Park.
Drop bears are a common species in Australia, and live mostly in gum and eucalypt trees in the eastern States, and are most prevalent in Tasmania. They look remarkably similar to the koala, although their claws, used for climbing trees and attacking prey, are larger, and they have two large fangs, used to hold their prey while excising flesh with a row of smaller, more jagged fangs behind the two larger ones.
Ms. Kerrin’s guardian and school teacher, Mr. Peter Healey, told this reporter that “We just didn’t know what was happening. First, we were walking, and then suddenly there was a flash of gray, a scream, and it was all over. Mel was on the ground, unconscious, and it wasn’t until the park ranger saw the wounds that we knew what had happened. We had to carefully carry Mel back to the ranger station and call an ambulance.”
According to Mr. Healey, the park ranger, Michael Porter, then organized a search team led by Aboriginal tracker Marjoria Toowombat, to track down the dangerous animal before any other casualties occur. Mr. Porter reportedly then tried some of the traditional bush healing techniques to tend to Ms. Kerrin’s injuries, without success.
Parks Victoria released an official statement early this morning, in which they stated “The ranger at the scene responded to the incident in accordance with the official guidelines, including the use of the animal tracking team. We regret that this incident has occurred, and wish Ms. Kerrin a speedy recovery.”
Ms. Kerrin’s parents are reportedly on their way to Australia to be with their daughter, who is in the Alfred Hospital in a serious condition. She was unable to be reached for comment.
Dangerous little fuckers, those drop bears. Don’t mess with them.