From the ABC:
Myth becomes road name reality as Tamworth council names lane after drop bear
A mythical creature in Australian folklore, the drop bear looks set to have a road named after it near Tamworth, in northern New South Wales.
Tales of lucky escapes from drop bears have long been told around firesides to those unfamiliar with the Australian bush.
The Australian Museum has gone as far as setting up an information page about drop bears.
It states that Plummetus Thylarctos, more commonly known as the drop bear, is the size of a large dog, and has coarse orange fur and powerful forearms for climbing and holding on to prey.
It prefers to live in a closed canopy forest or open woodland, and ironically, is never encountered near roads or human habitation.
But Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the area surrounding the road that will bear the creature’s name had lots of trees, and a creek flowed nearby.
“I’m sure that wonderful, mythical Australian creature will have a very happy habitat up there,” he said.
‘Stir of excitement’ in council chambersPHOTO: The distribution of drop bears in Australia, according to the Australian Museum. (Supplied: Australian Museum)
Cr Murray said the discussion on the proposal had been a nice break from the serious business being considered at the meeting.
“Sometimes we tend to get a little bit too formal and a little too serious in our council meetings, and it was a nice touch to have that matter before us to consider,” he said.
The proposal, understood to have been suggested by a group of residents, was passed unanimously after a short but laughter-filled discussion.
The name has already been checked off by the Geographical Names Board.
“There is quite a process to go through to name a public road,” Cr Murray said.
“That body saw fit to endorse that as a potential name. The final approval comes back to the council, but now that will be notified to all the emergency services sector and go on all the maps etc.”
The official naming of Drop Bear Lane is dependent on submissions made during a public exhibition period.
Possibility of lane becoming a tourist attraction
Cr Murray said the proposal was one of the more unusual council had dealt with, and he believed the area could now become a tourist attraction.
“I think a lot of people would probably choose to go and have a look at Drop Bear Lane,” he said.
“It’s quite a famous or infamous feature in our mythology, and I think it would attract some interest.
“It’s something maybe we can promote in tourist circles.”