This is freaking cool. The native animal of Australia, and second largest bird in the world, the emu, pokes people and other animals with its beak, then it runs away. This came as a surprise to me, so I instantly wanted to know more about this weird behavior. I mean, most animals of prey tend to try and avoid anything that could possibly eat them. Being the next meal isn’t exactly the best way to ensure your gene pool continues to flourish throughout the generations.
When you first think of an emu I bet that you think of some cute, cuddly, docile bird. If this is the image that you thought of, you better wipe it from your mind. They are in fact a dangerous animal, and one best not to come into close contact with in the wild.
While its dangerous nature is not as well known as many of the other deadly animals that Australia has, such as snakes, crocodiles, spiders and drop bears, they posses several distinct features that would render you either seriously injured, or seriously dead. Standing about the same height as a human, they have amazingly strong legs. At the end of these legs there are five inch talons. When angered, an emu has the power, and equipment to tear a hole through a steel fence, or completely disembowel you. They are so tough that the Australian Army even lost a war against them.
But despite possessing the ability to literally tear you into two, they are really quite placid and inquisitive creatures. A violent act by them is an extremely rare event. They are so inquisitive in fact, that they do something so odd that it has the experts completely baffled. They will go up behind a person or other animal, and poke them gently with their beak. Once they have poked the person, the emu will run away. They have been known to watch unsuspecting people who have gone for walks in the wild, only to approach them when they least expect it and poke them in the back, then run as fast as they can away from them.
So why exactly do emus poke people in the back and then run away? As we have said, no one knows the reason for this. The best current explanation is some kind of game that only the emu understands. So it may be worth trying to poke it back, if you can catch it that is.