A new lease on life for emus

Kerry Cranney’s grandson Bryce takes a close look at the chicks.
Kerry Cranney’s grandson Bryce takes a close look at the chicks. Contributed

REARING 11 coastal emus in her backyard has been hard work, even for a licensed wildlife carer like Kerry Cranney.

After about a year of bringing the birds from the egg to near adulthood, Ms Cranney wouldn't mind a rest.

"It's been an immense workload, the most I've ever had before has been three," she said.

"I'm sort of hoping no chicks come in for a while."

The emus, 10 of which came to her as eggs discovered in a canefield and hatched in her backyard, are almost ready to be released.

When they are they will be fitted with satellite tracking devices supplied by Roads and Maritime Services as a project to help its engineers understand wildlife movement.

During the year, Ms Cranney has received plenty of support from groups like Wildlife SOS and the National Parks and Wildlife Service as the chicks have outgrown their quarters.

"I needed funds and materials for a secure, lockable enclosure for them," she said.

"When the materials arrived, people from SOS and NPWS came and built it in a couple of days."

And when an extension was needed several months later as the emus grew bigger, NPWS came to the party again.

When the birds are released they will come and go from Ms Cranney's property until they are fully independent.

Topics:  emus, grafton



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