Australia’s signature flightless bird—the emu—loves Brooklyn. Emus, Wiggy and Drummer are long-time residents of the Prospect Park Zoo. They arrived from the Bronx Zoo in 1993 when Prospect Park Zoo reopened under Wildlife Conservation Society management.
For years, the emu enclosure was located toward the back of the Australian Walkabout on Discovery Trail while wallabies and kangaroos took center stage. Recent renovations to the exhibit shifted the emu’s enclosure bringing Wiggy and Drummer closer to visitors.
The new exhibit is dramatically different; many visitors think Wiggy and Drummer are new to the zoo. Characteristics, including their dinosaur-like three-toed feet, the beautiful blue color on their heads, and their “hairy” feathers are easily noticeable.
Last month, Prospect Park Zoo debuted a new species to the Australian Walkabout–. These canines–predators in their ecosystems–have captured the interest of visitors and have enriched the experience of a walk through the Australian section of the trail. In the wild, the dingoes could give Wiggie and Drummer reason to be wary, but there is no reason for them to worry at the zoo.
The zoo recently gave Wiggie and Drummer company to help make the exhibit even more spectacular–a group of new female emus. The year-old birds have been acclimating to the enclosure and will join the older pair once they have grown to an appropriate size.
Wiggy and Drummer spend time trying to engage the new birds. They are certainly curious. Is it courtship on Wiggy’s part? Is it companionship on Drummer’s part? Visit the Prospect Park Zoo’s Australian Walkabout to watch the emus interact and decide for yourself.