Wednesday 21 March 2018

Feathers fly as exotic on-the-run emus turn up on doorstep

The emus are in a pen waiting for their owners
The emus are in a pen waiting for their owners
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

IT WAS a tall order to deal with two six-foot emus who strolled up a farm driveway one afternoon.

Martin Shaughnessy, from Knockdoe, Co Galway, was stunned to discover the two exotic birds outside his house on Monday.

"I got a total shock when I saw them. I thought it was someone playing a joke on me but nobody knew anything about it," he said.

Martin managed to bring the birds, which he has christened Fidelma and Eugene, up to his yard where he set up a pen to keep them secure until the rightful owner could be contacted.

"We put up big sheets of plywood to keep them in and the corner walls are 5ft high. I was afraid they would get back out on the road and get hit by a car. They are big lumps of birds, Eugene is about 6ft 6in and Fidelma about 5ft 10in," he said.

However, attempts to extract help from the authorities proved a little more difficult. "It was only the Galway and Claddagh Swan Rescue who took us a bit seriously," he explained.

Vets from Galway County Council came out to inspect the birds and after seeking advice from Dublin Zoo, Martin was informed to feed the birds barley and cabbage. In a bid to help out, Martin's local agri store Flynn's of Lackagh has been donating the barley free of charge. "They seem to eat a lot of the barley. I just keep throwing it out to them and they seem to like it. The male growls like a dog and keeps thumping his chest which is unusual, she's a lot quieter."

A Facebook appeal from the Galway and Claddagh Swan Rescue eventually discovered that the rightful owners are new neighbours of Martin's who are renting nearby.

"They are going to collect them today and just walk them back down the road. We're still keeping an eye out for an egg. We'll scramble it and see what it's like," he said.

Irish Independent

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