Emu Hunter Diaries Posted by: Dale Franks
on Sunday, November 19, 2006
Today, we've come to beautiful Ramona, California, to seek out its elusive wildlife.
Imagine our joy to see these beautiful emu, strolling through the wilds of a fenced in yard. Let's see if they'll approach us!
The emu are approaching closer and closer. Danger, danger, danger! These majestic, and beautiful animals are not pets, and you never know what they'll do.
Crikey! The emu is attacking! Her vicious beak has swiped the dome off my Lightsphere!
Now, she's taking it away!
I try to grab it, and receive a nasty peck from her serrated beak!
Yes, that happened today. We were stating right next to the fence, taking pictures of the emus, when one of the females made a lunge for my camera, and grabbed the plastic half-dome out of my Lightsphere flash diffuser. Fortunately, Chris was standing right next to me, and she managed to capture it on film.
This was a brand new Lightsphere that I just received Friday, to replace one that Chris lost (grumble, grumble) while we were shooting an event for the Pro Player Foundation. I thought that $60 had just gone down the drain. Fortunately, the emu dropped it right by the fence. I yelled at Chris, "Get a stick!", thinking I could stick it through the fence and pull the dome back to the fence and retrieve it through the gap at the bottom. Unfortunately, we were in a place where there were no trees, so no sticks were immediately apparent. While Chris was running around, trying to find a stick, I started to reach under the fence to see if I could grab it off the ground.
All three emus, however, began to attack the plastic dome, pecking at it and trying to pick it up again. I thought I could make a quick grab for it, and got a peck on the finger for my trouble.
Chris came back with a tiny tree branch that had about ten different little branches sticking out from it. I feverishly tried to strip off all the branches to make a single stick long enough to grab the dome.
Then one of the emus got hold of it and picked it up. Fortunately, her grip wasn't that strong, so she dropped it, but did manage to move it about 6 inches further away. All of the emus started to peck at it again.
Chris then came up with another stick that, while thin and reedy, was both long and strong enough for me to reach through the fence and start pulling it back to me. The emus were still attacking the damn thing, though, so I had to make swipes at their heads when they tried to grab the dome.
Eventually, I got it back, but it was touch and go there for a minute. It wasn't much of a stick, but it worked. And I certainly wasn't gonna try and stick my hand back in there for it, after being pecked once by their nasty dinosaur-looking beaks.
So, after that, we get back in the car, and Chris says to me, "I knew she was gonna grab that. That's why I was able to get the picture."
Well, why the hell didn't you say anything? I thought.
Of course, I know why. She just wanted to get the picture. I mean, look at it! She had the camera focused and ready and everything!
What luck! An interesting story and a prospective lucrative lawsuit. And documented with photos! You forgot to tell us how traumatized you are. Why, the thought of losing another piece of expensive photo equipment so soon after the last one is worth a bunch by itself, not to mention pain and suffering, etc. You do indeed live in the Golden State.
I recall being bitten by an emu when I was but a wee lass. That was the start of a long-running avian intifada (including a heliotrope-harrowing sparrow and being whacked on the head by a pelican) that ended only recently when I saved a hummingbird from a neighborhood cat.