MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Brevard Zoo has announced that two emu chicks have emerged from their eggs, after an eight-week incubation at the zoo.
They say that one hatched on March 14th and the other on March 15th. 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.”
The zoo says that their 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. The 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 reportedly weigh less than a pound upon hatching, but can exceed 100 pounds as an adult.
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.