Emu’s expensive taste leads to bizarre insurance claim
WILDLIFE carer Mel Pope reckons Eddie the hungry emu definitely has rocks in his head - not to mention his stomach.
The Sunday Mail revealed last month how eagle-eyed Eddie had pecked Ms Pope's $2000 diamond earrings straight out of her lobes and swallowed them, sparking a very bizarre insurance claim.
This week the baby emu with the very expensive taste had his stomach pumped in a bid to flush out the digested jewels.
Sadly, no diamonds surfaced, just worthless stones, a piece of pottery and a 5c piece.
"Eddie had an X-ray earlier in the week and one of the earrings showed up, but unfortunately, it didn't come out in the procedure," said Ms Pope, who runs the Kobble Bird Shelter in the Brisbane Valley.
"Where the other one is is anyone's guess."
Despite being gobsmacked at Eddie's gobbling ways, Ms Pope's insurer paid her claim and a sparkling new set of earrings are on the way.
Emus are notorious for devouring anything and everything, and Ms Pope said Eddie was continuing to eat rocks, though thankfully, not of the diamond kind.
"They're the ordinary, garden-variety stones, as opposed to the expensive ones," she said.
"I've got to turf his enclosure so he'll eat his normal food. Eddie has rocks in his head, not to mention his belly."
Ms Pope's insurer agreed to pay her claim on the strength of the X-ray showing one of the earrings in Eddie's stomach.
The wildlife carer didn't want Eddie to undergo surgery to extract the earring because of his tender age, and she spent days scouring his faeces in the hope it might pass through naturally.
Ms Pope said the little emu had shown no ill effects from the stomach flushing, apart from a swollen foot where he had an injection.
Eddie came to Ms Pope as an orphan in August after his father was run over in western Queensland.
Despite his penchant for pebbles, Ms Pope said the emu was thriving and had doubled in size since she took him in.
"He's growing at a phenomenal rate - he's huge compared to when I first got him," she said. "He's doing really well."
Eddie will be released into the wild when he's old enough.
"He still has his baby stripes, so he'll be with me for a while yet, probably until he's about six months old," she said.