A farming family in central Queensland have adopted, or maybe more like they’ve been adopted by, a new friend in their backyard – a god damn wild emu. Not even a baby emu, a fully grown, full-speed, feet-the-size-of-garden-forks emu. And they’ve named him Fred.
As reported by the ABC, Fred the emu showed up in the McArthur family’s property when he followed them home after a day’s work of mustering cattle on horseback. Rob McArthur told the ABC that they were cautious of the big bird at first, but after realising that Fred wasn’t spooked by humans, they just let him wander around the property as he pleased.
He’ll walk around, pick a few mulberries off the mulberry tree. We’ve still got some fairy lights up, he’s quite fascinated with them, he’s so tall he can reach up, picks at the lights hanging down from the verandah.
I mean it’s understandable that the family were a bit cautious of the emu at first because it’s a fuckin emu, but it seems like over the last couple of weeks, Fred’s made absolutely no efforts to fly the coop, so to speak.
Look at him! He’s fitting right in like he’s a part of the family, just like a huge, two-legged dog with wings, covered in feathers. He just wants a family and to help out with daily farm chores like rounding up poddy calves and pruning the farm’s various mulberry trees.
Ecology experts are also baffled by Fred’s behaviour because y’know he’s a wild native bird that should be terrified of humans, and Darryl Jones from Griffith University told the ABC he thinks it’s one of three things, either’ Fred’s lost his mob of emus and is lonely, he’s a damn smart bird who has realised “oh if I make friends with these smaller, wingless emus who have the weirdest plumage that seems to change every day, I’ll probably cop some sweet food“, or he’s truly just a dumbass bird who can’t fend for himself in the wild.
Either way, I love Fred the emu who thinks he’s a farmhand, and I love this video of him doing giant bird zoomies around the back paddock.