Scottish TV reporter Debi Edward was duped into thinking she was holding a dangerous bear, which was actually a koala, in a prank by workers at an Australian animal reserve.

The ITV News Asia correspondent got dressed up in full-body armour, protective boots and safety goggles after being told she would be handling a "drop bear" that had venomous fangs and which attacked humans.

Sean Mulcahy from Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park spoke to the camera, playing along with the prank.

He said: "The third most common injury we see from tourists in Australia is actually from a drop bear attack."

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The koala was then handed to Edward, who looked terrified as she clutched the friendly marsupial.

This is the hilarious moment a Scottish TV reporter was fooled into thinking a koala was a lethal 'drop bear' that could kill her. Photo / Sean Mulcahy / Facebook
This is the hilarious moment a Scottish TV reporter was fooled into thinking a koala was a lethal 'drop bear' that could kill her. Photo / Sean Mulcahy / Facebook

"I've been told that this is quite a dangerous bear, it's been known to attack people," she said.

She told her viewers: "It's called a drop bear because they drop out of the trees to attack people.

"I'm trying not to be worried because I've been told that he can sense if I'm worried."

The 40-year-old, from Aberdeen, panicked as she was told by carers that they may have to subdue it with a dart gun as it was preparing to attack her.

After a minute, Mulcahy took the harmless koala back from Edward before the crew burst out laughing at the successful prank.

"You were kidding me! F****** Aussies," Edward screamed as she realised the drop bear does not exist.

Edward was covering the devastation caused by bush fires on Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, on Saturday.

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The fictional drop bear is well-established as a myth in Australia.