AS parts of Australia face devastation from the weeks of bushfires sweeping the country, one team of rescuers managed to bring smiles to residents' faces.

A team at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Rescue Park had ITV journalist Debi Edward, originally from Aberdeen, hold on to a dangerous "drop bear".

In a clip posted by 7NEWS Australia, rescuer Sean Mulcahy tells the TV reporter the creature is a close relative of the koala but larger, with longer claws and fangs which inject venom. 

He informs her that drop bear attacks are the "most common" injury reported by tourists in the area.

Edward was dressed in a special protective suit to prevent the animal from attacking her. 

However, unbeknown to the journalist, the vicious animal was really a cuddly koala.

As Edward held the marsupial, the rescue team around her acted as if she was at risk.

"I'm trying not to be worried because I'm told he can sense if I'm worried," she says while looking concerned.

Eventually, after pretending the "drop bear" was about to strike any second, Mulcahy took the koala back from the reporter.

The penny dropped for Edward as she noticed the rescuer did not require any protective clothing to hold the "dangerous" creature.

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She took the prank with good humour, laughing heartily and announcing "f*****' Aussies!"

Rescuer Mulcahy said the team carried out the prank to help raise awareness of the high number of koalas which have been killed in the recent fires.

An estimated 40,000 are thought to have perished in fires on Kangaroo Island alone. 

"In times of tragedy and incessant misery, sometimes humour is the best medicine," Mulcahy told 7News Australia.

The team has urged anyone entertained by the clip to donate to the park, which is treating animals hurt in the fires.

Donations can be made here.