From the day I (a New Zealander) stepped foot in Australia, I was warned by everyone about the danger of drop bears.
In fact, even before I moved here, warnings were frequently posted on the internet, building a great fear within me.
Various social media outlets showcased the vast culture of fear these animals have surrounding them.
After moving here, I was faced with constant reminders that drop bears were something to always be wary of.
Any doubt I had about the existence of drop bears was soon destroyed by this page on the official Australian Museum website.
I realised that if I wanted to find one, I would need to do some research. At this point, all I knew about them was that they were similar to koalas.
First, I turned to my co-workers who I believed would have more knowledge of drop bears. They kindly drew me diagrams:
But that left me even more puzzled.
I reached out to Taronga Zoo, Sydney Wildlife Park, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Australia Zoo, LonePine Koala Sanctuary, and Melbourne Zoo, for further information.
Their mysterious response just raised more questions. Why was there no evidence of drop bears? What were they trying to hide?! I decided it was time to go out on the hunt for a drop bear myself.
The start of my journey took me to a crowd of people, surrounding a pen of mysterious animals.
What was so special about them? Why were they drawing a crowd? I went in for a closer look, thinking they could be the drop bears I was searching for.
After a close and in-depth inspection, I came to the scientific conclusion that these were not drop bears.
I then took my search to a large building that was mainly made of roofing.
What better place to find something that is native to Australia and likes to drop on tourists than the Sydney Opera House?
Once again, my search was fruitless.
I didn't know what I was doing wrong.
Was someone trying to protect me by hiding the drop bears?
I realised that my knowledge of the elusive creatures was still incredibly limited.
How could anything similar to these adorable creatures be capable of instilling such fear in an entire nation?
I had so many questions...
After a considerable amount of image searches, I came to realise that koalas could indeed look ~suss~ too.
It's all in the eyes.
Closer inspection confirmed that maybe koalas weren't so cute and cuddly.
Have you ever seen Camilla Parker-Bowles look so terrified by a baby?
At this point, I was of the belief that all koalas were hiding something.
So I went undercover at Wild Life Sydney Zoo to find out more...
...I spent a morning posing as a koala keeper and learnt many things about them.
I found out that they eat many different types of eucalyptus leaves, and they mainly just eat, sleep, and poo.
I also learnt that they don't really like it when you change out their old food.
Shitty koalas for days.
Despite their bad moods, the koalas did nothing to physically harm me.
The truth is, these animals are not vicious, they're just lazy as fuck.
These were not drop bears.
Koalas just have resting bitch face.
Sadly, this meant my time learning how to care for koalas shed very little insight into the life of drop bears.
I did get to meet this little baby though, and naturally fell in love.
I left the zoo, but I was determined not to give up.
So I took my search to the wilderness.