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Zookeepers Kerry and Megan hold emu chicks

Kerry and Megan admire the new arrivals.

As if the birth of a new giraffe wasn’t enough, we have another exciting baby announcement to share! Following an eight-week incubation, two adorable emu chicks emerged from their eggs in Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond—one each on March 14 and 15. These little cuties are the first shared offspring of six-year-old female Lafawnduh and 23-year-old male Napoleon.

The way emus raise their young is rather unusual. After the female lays her eggs, she may go off to find another mate. The male stays behind to incubate the clutch and look after the chicks once they hatch. Though Napoleon did a great job of sitting on the eggs, he didn’t take much interest in the newborns. 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.


Emu chick

The eldest chick, fresh out of the egg.

As always, we’re focused on providing the chicks with the best possible care. They’re living behind the scenes under intense supervision for now, but we hope to move them to a public area in the next few weeks.

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 beloved for its stature, striking blue skin and “goofy” demeanor.