A friend's emu died a few weeks ago. He was to be moved, and a couple of
park rangers and a vet turned up to do the job. My friend thought the
plan was to sedate him, but the vet decided that wasn't necessary, that
they'd simply grab him, and while sitting on his back, tie a bag on his
head, tape his legs and that would be that.
But the bird was thrown on his side. He was then sat on while a thick
bag was placed over his head and taped into place. M. was then asked to
hold his head, whereupon she discovered it was 'floppy'. She says she
tried to tell the vet but she disregarded her and kept taping his legs.
Unfortunately by the time they took M. seriously the bird was dead.
The vet said 'stress' killed the bird. M thinks he suffocated.
Recounting this tale to another vet later she was told that his usual
procedure was to place the bird's head in a trouser leg or coat sleeve,
so it could breathe, but not see. She was also told that leg taping was
It seems to me that sitting on the bird's side would have compromised the
ability of the air sacs to expand, and that along with the bag could have
played a part in the bird's demise. Does anyone have any thoughts on
Denise Goodfellow (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
Ph/fax 08 89818492
PO Box 39373
WINNELLIE NT 0821, AUSTRALIA
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