Sunday, May 13, 2007

Have you ever heard an emu growl?

For those who don't know, and I'm not sure I have mentioned it before, I work at a Basketball Association and our top level Men's team has two American imports playing in it. On Friday I took one of them to Healesville Sanctuary. That's a part of the Melbourne Zoo that only has native Australian animals and is located around 60 kilometers from the city centre, to the east of Melbourne.

Now I know to a lot of non-Australians that this country may well seem to be populated by all sorts of poisonous and dangerous animals great and small and John is pretty wary of animals at the best of times. A few weeks ago he was at one of my co-workers holiday houses and stepped outside onto the decking to look at the view. A few seconds later he bolted back inside and ran through the house to lock himself in the toilet.

In order to scare away the cockatoos who had been eating the decking timber, these people had strategically placed plastic snakes around the deck and John had seen one of those and thinking it was real, bolted to the only place he thought had a small enough gap under the door to prevent anything from following him.

Now emus are not the most attractive of birds. Large and with a head that is evidence of their descent from dinosaurs, they also have a propensity for growling. According to some websites the male gives a growl when it approaches newly hatched chicks. No one said emus were smart but this one was making one hell of a racket when John and I approached it. I don't reckon I look much like an emu chick and the big fella is 6'8" so he certainly doesn't. The photo shows John at his closest approach.

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