Watch as Scottish journalist falls victim to hilarious Aussie 'dangerous bear' prank

Debi Edward reluctantly holding a koala bear which at the time she believed to be a venomous and dangerous beast   picture: ITV News
Debi Edward reluctantly holding a koala bear which at the time she believed to be a venomous and dangerous beast picture: ITV News
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A Scottish journalist is the talk of the town after her camera crew and Aussie wildlife rescuers pulled a prank on her.

Amid the bush fire devastation, Sean Mulcahy from the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park invited Scottish reporter Debi Edward, UK’s ITV News Asia correspondent, to hold what he described as one of Australia's most rare creatures.

While helping her put on heavily padded gear, Mulcahy told Edward she was going to handle a 'drop bear' which he describes as a "close cousin of the koala but really vicious and has small fangs with mild venom."

Unbeknown to Edward, there is no such thing as a drop bear.

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In fact it is a hoax Aussie's are known to play, convincing non-natives it's a predatory, carnivorous version of docile koalas which skittle about in the trees and deliberately drop on the heads of their prey.

Completely convinced, the Scottish journalist reluctantly holds the docile beast while saying to the camera: "I've been told this is quite a dangerous bear, it's been known to attack people, it's called a drop bear because they drop out of the trees to attack people.

"I am a bit worried why I need this level of protection."

Mulcahy and his colleagues play up to Edward's fear telling her to be careful when the koala simply looks from left to right.

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Edward is clearly terrified making it hard for those around her to stop themselves from laughing.

Finally when park owner Garnett Mitchell casually takes the koala from her with a smirk across his face, the penny drops for Edward and she repeatedly says "you're kidding me."

Appearing on Australia's The Today Show, Edward said she was glad she had brought a little humour to the news scene and to the team at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park who have been battling the flames and rescuing injured animals day and night for weeks.

"That was the only time we saw Sam laughing that day, he'd been up all night battling fires, trying to keep the park safe, trying to keep the animals safe, he was absolutely exhausted," Edward told the TV hosts.

"It was great to be able to see him smile and have a joke and just forget about all of the hardships for a few minutes.

"The guys there at the park are absolutely amazing and I just need to shout out to them this morning and say my heart is going out to them at this time, they're just going through something really awful, a lot of Australia is at the moment, but I just hope this has brought some light to them at this difficult time."

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Almost £1 million has been raised to help Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, going far beyond the £8,000 they initially set out to raise to help them care for the animals injured in the bush fires.