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The White Emu of Timbavati Wildlife Park

By Chris Taylor Monday, November 5, 2018

Greetings friends and welcome to this week’s blog post. The November air has a chill in it this week but the sun is shining and we don’t have any snow so I will take that. This week we’re going to check in on our very rare friends, the white emu. There aren’t very many white emus in North America and as far as we know, we’re the only park in the midwest with them on display.

 

This resident of Australia is the second largest bird in the world. It avoids living in dense forests, areas populated by humans and arid terrains. They have been spotted in deserts but they are much more common near water supplies. Emu are part of the Ratite family which include ostrich, rhea, kiwi, cassowary, and the recently extinct Moa.

 

With a top sprint speed of up to 30 miles per hour, the ability to stride 9 feet and a 7 foot vertical, the emu is a tough character to corral if you are a predator. The white emu is not an albino. Albinism is a random anomaly concerning the pigment of the skin. It also causes poor eyesight in the animal or person. The white emu has been bred to be white

White Emu Reproduction

A pair of emu will breed in the summer and a female can lay a clutch of up to 15 eggs at a time. When the female lays her eggs she wanders off and the father tends to the clutch. A female can lay up to 3 clutches in a season and sometime will lay her eggs in another emu’s nest and let a surrogate father tend to the clutch.

 

The male stays with the nest for about 8 weeks, until the clutch hatches. In this period he rarely leaves the nest and as a result of this loses a lot of his fat reserves. The chicks are born “precocial” which means they are pretty well functional at birth taking only a few minutes before they take their first steps. I guess they don’t need any tummy time to get them going eh?

 

The summer may be over but we’re open all year round! That’s right, we have our Timbavati Encounters. This is a guided trip to the park that begins daily at 11AM and 1PM. Check out the details on our website. Thanks for taking the time to read our weekly blog and we will see you in the park.

 

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