‘Koko’ arrived to Back to Nature in March 1997. She was found wandering in and out of traffic off of John Young Parkway. Orange County Animal Services and Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. worked together to catch her. The capture was achieved after several hours and the use of a lasso! Koko was brought to BTN to receive treatment and housing until her owners could be found. They were never found. Several people tried to claim her because emus are farmed for their meat, oil and eggs. However, once the public was made aware that charges would be pressed against her claimer for property damage, the phone calls stopped. It was then decided that Back to Nature would take care of Kokomu for the rest of her life. She now serves as an “educational ambassador”.
*Koko loves to dip in her pool, receive hand-fed strawberries and will drop to the floor for neck rubs. She’s known to even fall asleep during her massages!
Facts about The Emu
The emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is the largest bird native to Australia and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius. It is the second-largest extant bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. There are three subspecies of emus in Australia. The emu is common over most of mainland Australia, although it avoids heavily populated areas, dense forest, and arid areas.
The soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds reach up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. They have long thin necks and legs. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50 km/h (31 mph). Their long legs allow them to take strides of up to 275 centimetres (9.02 ft) They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food; they feed on a variety of plants and insects, but have been known to go for weeks without food. Emus ingest stones, glass shards and bits of metal to grind food in the digestive system. They drink infrequently, but take in copious fluids when the opportunity arises. Emus will sit in water and are also able to swim. They are curious birds who are known to follow and watch other animals and humans. Emus do not sleep continuously at night but in several short stints sitting down.