Emu are large flightless running birds belonging to a group of birds called ratites. They are one of the largest living birds in the world, with females being larger and heavier than males. The ratite family also includes the ostrich (which are the largest), kiwi, cassowary, and rhea, which are all found in the Southern Hemisphere.
Emus are native to Australia and can be found in various habitats including eucalyptus forests, woodlands, heathlands, desert shrublands, and sand plains. They used to exist in Tasmania and King Island but are now extinct there. Emus are able to migrate to new areas where there are permanent watering points, which has allowed them to expand into places from which they were previously excluded by lack of water. In some areas, they are now sadly considered pests.
Malcolm has been with us for many years and is now in his teens! He is now, unfortunately, living on his own following the sad loss of his mate, Edwina; but we are doing lots to keep him occupied so that he doesn't get bored. We hope that in the future he may take to another Emu and enjoy some company.
Although Emus can be quite dangerous, he is a gentle giant with our Animal Care Team and we are all very fond of him.
You will notice that he has some feathers missing on his neck - an unfortunate permanent reminder of the past when bees swarmed in his paddock and stung him repeatedly. With lots of care and treatment, he thankfully recovered but has been left with quite a bit of scar tissue which his feathers cannot grow back through. We still think that he's very handsome though!
Forever in Our Hearts
Although these beautiful emu are no longer with us and are missed so very much, they live on always in our hearts and minds. As long as we continue to speak their names and tell their stories, they are still with us and will never be forgotten!