PHOTOS & VIDEO: Emu Chicks Hatch at Brevard Zoo

Following an eight-week incubation, two emu chicks emerged from their eggs at Brevard Zoo—one each on March 14 and 15. They are the first shared offspring of six-year-old female Lafawnduh and 23-year-old male Napoleon.

“Once the female lays the eggs, she skips town and the male takes over,” said Michelle Smurl, director of animal programs at the Zoo. “Napoleon did a great job of sitting on the eggs, but he wasn’t too interested in the chicks once they hatched.”

Animal care staff made the decision to hand-rear the chicks, which are thriving. A third chick began to hatch, but did not make it out of the egg. Two remaining eggs were removed from the nest and placed in an incubator.

“The chicks are living behind the scenes for the time being, but they’ll probably be out for guests to see in the next few weeks,” added Smurl. “We’re focused on providing the chicks and unhatched eggs with the best possible care right now.”

Emu chicks weigh less than a pound upon hatching, but can exceed 100 pounds as adults. A national icon in its native Australia, the emu is renowned for its stature, striking blue skin and “goofy” demeanor. Its diet consists primarily of grasses and insects.

PHOTOS/VIDEO: © 2018 Brevard Zoo. All Rights Reserved.

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