click to enlarge
Emus let loose...
19 March 2015
They are now out and about free-roaming in The Deer Park. The other birds don't quite know what to think....
Native to Australia and their national bird, emus are the second largest bird in the world after the ostrich. It is believed that they are survivors of prehistoric times and date back some 80 million years when they would have roamed the outback of Australia. Originally there were three species of emu, but two of them became extinct as a result of being hunted for their meat and feathers. They reach maturity at 12 – 14 months and can grow up to 2 metres in height and weigh up to 60kg, with males normally being smaller than females
The emu belongs to a family of flightless birds called Ratites. Most Ratites are now extinct, with only the emu, ostrich, cassowary, kiwi and rhea being alive today. Like all Ratites, emus are extremely fast, and can travel great distances at a fast trot. If need be, they can sprint at up to 50 km per hour (with a 2.5 metre stride!).
Emus are very docile and curious by nature as demonstrated by the pair at Staglands who are already happy to accept food (albeit rather shyly!) from visitors.