Leanne Byrne / AP
In many ways, emus are welcome distractions in a small small Australian town. Rescuers raised by animals, birds – brothers and sisters Kevin and Carol – are friendly and wide-eyed sources of entertainment. But then the emus learned to climb the stairs.
The new skill allowed the birds to enter the Yaraka Hotel’s cafe in Queensland. Once inside, they freed the long leg of chaos. They tasted toast and french fries away from customers. One of the birds even walked outside the bar. A tough answer was needed.
“Emus was banned from this facility for misconduct,” a sign now stands on the stairs leading to the hotel’s inn. The message asks all visitors to change the “emu barrier” when they enter.
“We’ve registered, but we’re not sure if they can read or not,” Gerry Gimblett, co-owner of the hotel, told 10 News First Queensland. “So we also had to move the tape.”
Emus fell in love with the visitors – they learned that taking a photo often means rewarding a quick snack, says Gimblett, who owns the hotel with her husband Chris.
“The interesting thing is when people add toast to an appendix, face to head, take toast, and sip when they show up,” Gimblett told the Brisbane Times.
Despite the damage to the birds, Gimblett says he is delighted that Kevin and Carol are trapped – two surviving in a nest full of eggs that have been found abandoned. All their brothers and sisters have since moved on.
The couple struggled with both locals and visitors. Until now, according to Gimblett, emus were kept in the bay as cordons that were built around the back of the hotel. The birds then figured out how to use the three stairs leading to the inn’s courtyard.
“We didn’t think they could climb the stairs,” says Leanne Byrne, a Yaraka resident who raised Kevin and Carol, in an interview with ABC. The animals in that segment made a few bumblebees, washing the pieces of bread in front of the chamber.
Now, according to Gimblett, she hopes the birds won’t understand how to maneuver under the rope and stairs.
Mining is usually not a problem at the bar. After all, Jaraka is home to less than 20 people. However, as is often the case with wild animals, there are other problems.
“If they could control their gut,” emus would be welcome inside, says Gimblett ABC.
“They are messy,” Byrne agrees.
Even with potentially misbehaving, Yaraka emus online arouses interest in people who say they want to visit the Outback city. Many also say they are grateful for a little relief from bird comics.
“The country needs it because of our Covido crises,” a visitor to the hotel’s Facebook page wrote. “The ABC journalist couldn’t stop laughing either.”