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The White Emus Are Not Albinos

By Chris Taylor Monday, February 12, 2018

Greetings and welcome to this week’s blog! Hopefully those of you who had snow were able to dig out safely. If you followed the groundhog last week you know we still have plenty of winter left. Seeing the all white tundra outside reminded me of the rare white emus that we have at Timbavati Wildlife Park.

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. Of course the emu is an Australian native and apparently white emus are rare there. So having our own flock in America makes Timbavati Wildlife Park a great stop for birders (people who love watching birds).

Really Big Birds

Other emu facts are equally interesting, they are the second largest species of bird on the planet. Their animal grouping includes ostriches and that family of birds are referred to as ratites. We know that modern day birds evolved from dinosaurs and I find that looking at the white emu up close really gives me a Jurassic Park kind of feeling.

If you’ve never encountered an emu face to face, be prepared to be face to face. The emu stands around 5 feet tall. When you step up to the white emu encounter, they will come and look you in the eye. It’s a neat thing, I don’t know where else you have the opportunity to get so close to one.

Here is a look at the white emu. While I was in the enclosure filming the emus one emu decided that my camera wasn’t welcome in the enclosure. You’ll be entertained by their denial at around the 0:47 mark in the video! Talk with you all next week, and stay warm! Our VIP Behind The Scenes tours make great valentines day gifts!

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