Emu

Found all over Australia these large flightless birds are instantly recognisable due to their sheer size and their incredible speed. And Rod Hull had one.

They have been ‘clocked’ at 31mph and can run great distances too, if needs be. 

Even though its flightless, the emu still has wings. The emu uses them to cool themselves down. They stretch them out and allow air to move around the body. They also use them when they’re running at top speed to steer themselves in the right direction.

Emus are 'nomadic'. This means they don’t stay in one spot for very long and take advantage of the food that is available in an area and move on when they need to.

Conservation

Once hunted in the wild for their skin, feathers, meat and oil, these products are now obtained through emu farms. Although not listed as threatened by the IUCN, in Australia’s northern territories they are listed as vulnerable.

Emu questions and answers

Do emus have many predators?
Not really, due to their size and speed. Wild dogs, humans and crocodiles do sometimes hunt them.

What do emus eat?
Plants and insects like grasshoppers, beetles and cockroaches.

How long do the females sit on the eggs for?
The short answer is…they don’t. Once the eggs are laid its up to the male to sit on them for roughly eight weeks.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.