Journalist falls for Australian drop bear prank while covering Kangaroo Island bushfires

When a Scottish journalist was asked if she wanted to hold an elusive Australian “drop bear” during the Kangaroo Island bushfire crisis, she jumped at the chance — falling for the prank “hook, line and sinker”.

Key points:

  • Journalist Debi Edward was told to wear protective clothing while handling a drop bear
  • The prank was described as “comedy gold”
  • The video was posted to help raise funds for a local wildlife group

ITV News Asia correspondent Debi Edward, was covering the ongoing bushfire situation on the island, when her freelance camera operator decided to add a little light humour amid the confronting news.

Freelance video producer Sean Mulcahy, Army reservist veterinarian Garnett Hall and Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park owner Sam Mitchell pulled off the prank, which has gone viral on social media.

She even donned the “protective drop bear clothing” — which was a motocross outfit worn backwards, along with welding gloves, boots and goggles.

“She looked like a Ninja Turtle,” Mr Mulcahy told ABC News.

“At one point, we were going to tell her that you can stop them going for the neck if you put some Vegemite behind your ears.

“She would have gone with that as well, but I couldn’t do it in good conscience.”

He said Ms Edwards was “mortified” when he told her he had posted the video to social media, but she “copped it on the chin for the team” to help the fundraising effort after seeing the devastation the fire had caused to the island.

“We were told there was a population of 60,000 koalas on the island and they feared they had lost 30-40,000 of them, which has now turned out to be the best part of 80 per cent of them,” he said.

In his post he said, “In times of tragedy and incessant misery, sometimes humour is the best medicine.”

“In the process of looking at the koalas, I said to the vet, ‘is that a drop bear?’

“It all unfolded very quickly.

“As soon as they said to her, ‘do you want to hold one?’ she said, ‘is it safe?’

“And it was just on for young and old from there.”

The prank was pulled off with ‘such conviction’

“The Army vet, Garnett, he just grabbed the ball and ran with it — I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone pull it off with such conviction. She was hook, line and sinker,” Mr Mulcahy said.

“I knew once she got all the way through that, I knew there weren’t too many people who have fallen for that one, especially at a level of her intelligence and international status.

“I thought she would wake up to it, but then when she went all the way, I knew it was going to go wild [on social media].

“It was comedy gold.”

EDIT: Do you have any Dropbear stories? – tell them here.

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow

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