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Emu runs loose in Lone Peak, officials give tips on raising one as a pet

Local News

LONE PEAK, Utah (ABC4) – Officers were dispatched to locate a runaway emu out of Lone Peak, Friday.

On February 12, the Lone Peak Police Department received a call on reports of an emu loose from its cage, and its owner struggling to locate it, around 9:25 a.m.

“The weekend started out with Officer Hudson being dispatched to an emu running at large, (Yes, an Emu),” writes the Lone Peak Police department.

According to officers, when they arrived to help search for the runaway emu, the owner had managed to bring it back to its home and secure the animal properly.

“Upon Officer Hudson arriving, he found Big Bird’s owner had returned the bird to its cage,” the team writes.

Emus are the second-largest birds in the world, coming after the ostrich. Their native land is the continent of Australia, and these are the largest birds found there.

These birds are commonly found all over Australia but have a tendency to avoid areas that are heavily-populated or densely-forested. 

According to Pet Ponder, since the last 20 years or so, many farmers across the United States have begun breeding emus in a big way. As a result of this, their popularity as pets has risen. Their exotic appearance and gentle nature make keeping them as pets a very feasible option.

Though keeping pet emus may have aroused your curiosity and interest, be warned that taking care of them and living with them is not an easy task. Here are some tips to make housing an emu easier!

Raising an emu

When it comes to raising an emu, it is all about building a relationship and developing a sense of trust between each other.

According to Pet Ponder, it is best to raise an emu when it is a baby.

“If you are searching for an emu to take home as a pet, then ensure that it is a small chick. To take home a grown-up emu that has never been someone’s pet before is not advisable,” they say.

The pet site goes on to mention that when you are trying to build your relationship with the emu, it is essential to get the bird accustomed to human touch.

“If it has not gotten used to the touch of a human being, it may react angrily to being touched once it grows up into a full-fledged adult,” Pet Ponder informs.

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When it comes to diet, emus need enough protein to keep their bodies strong. They are extremely curious by nature and will try to eat anything that they can get their long beaks on. Emus typically graze on things like:

  • Insects, caterpillars, and other invertebrates.
  • Seeds and nuts.
  • Flowers, leaves, and other plant parts.
  • Lizards and other small animals.
  • Various salads like potato salad and macaroni salad.
  • Different recipes of eggs.

Tips and Reminders

Remember the following pointers to ensure that you and your pet have a comfortable life together.

  • Emus are attracted to shiny and dangling objects, so remove any jewelry you are wearing before approaching your emu.
  • The pen or the shelter will stink a lot, be prepared for that.
  • Buy an emu from a reliable and reputable farmer, who will ensure that the health and sanitary procedures are carried out perfectly.
  • Emus can kick very hard, and they kick in front, so be wary when you stand in front of them or next to them.
  • Be extremely cautious about the emus’ claws and talons. These are very sharp, and can seriously injure a human being.

“Emus can be very affectionate and gentle, but at the same time can be very aggressive and moody, ” informs the site. “Learn to understand your pet emu’s moods and act accordingly. Do not make it feel threatened or under threat in any way, as this will provoke a violent reaction from it. If you treat it right, it will be a source of great joy in your life.”

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