The worlds second largest bird only to the Ostrich. Emu are very much part of Australian wildlife, origins in native Australian history. They also have had human history with settlement days wiped out two populations on King Island and main land Tasmania. Emus do not tolerate human populations well vulnerable to road traffic and domestic/introduced predates. However large landscape changes such as agricultural pastures seems to have assisted their numbers in rural and semi arid regions. The Emu has evolved to have two key defences against potential predators like the Dingo, wild dogs, foxes, eagles and people. Powerful legs that can steadily get to speeds of 50km. Also powerful sharp claws that can be used as a slashing weapon. However it is also common for an Emu to have a curiosity where it may follow strange objects, people other animals for a distance.
There are several sub species. Due to escaped farmed emus which are mostly the West Australian sub species.
Injured or Nuisance Emus
Sadly the Emu forages along road sides and can be easily spooked. Car hit Emus regularly in rural and semi arid regions relatively regularly. These should be reported to any amiable rescue groups and/or police who may have to use their resources to handle an injured Emu. Emus have powerful legs combined with very dangerous claws. Therefore can only be managed by professional or trained operators.
Escaped or farmed Emus
In some urban landscapes Emus may be seen crossing roads or entering properties. These may be escaped farmed Emus. Please contact your local department of conservation or Wildlife rescue group for advice. In some states these Emus are not protected because they are not local Emus and may be subject to attempts for culling.