The theft of the large flightless bird is the first of its kind – and has police baffled as to the motives. The emu poses no real cash value – but rather, offers an unconscious burden to the bandits.
The robbers are believed to have flogged the large, powerful bird in the middle of the night, by carrying it over electric barbed wire on top of a two-metre fence. Evidence suggests the getaway car was parked a kilometre away, according Chad Staples, a curator at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside.
“It would have had to be carried the whole way and lifted over the fences twice,” he told Reuters. A grown emu can be as much as 2 metres (6.6 feet) tall and weigh roughly 37 kg, or a little more than an adult Labrador dog.
It is believed the thieves tried their luck with a second emu, but failed in their efforts. It remained unharmed, despite losing a few feathers.
The last break in recorded at the park was only a couple of months ago, on Christmas Day, when ten macaw parrots were stolen, only to be recovered a few hours later.