Date Posted:14 June 2019 

Where would an Emu get refuge in a bushfire? The Pub of course!

As fires burned 2 weeks ago between Darwin and south of Mataranka, a small community in the Northern Territory was caught off guard in the early start of the bushfire season. An emu named 'Steve' reminded Mr. Ian Sloan,a local pub owner, to be prepared for the fire season.

According to a report by Gabrielle Lyons of ABC News:
"Fires have been burning between Darwin and south of Mataranka about 400 kilometres away over the last fortnight.

When fires sparked in the bushlands behind the Berry Springs Tavern near Darwin, for publican Ian Sloan it was the menagerie of backyard pets that had him most concerned.

'The fires got pretty close to the fencing of the animal enclosure, luckily the paddock is pretty green so it didn't catch inside,' Mr Sloan said.

'The emus were pretty distraught, unsure of what to do ... it's the first fire that's come close to the property and we simply weren't expecting it this early in the dry season.'

'Sadly though, some of the embers burning in the bush came through the fence and have burnt the neck of our pet emu Steve.'

Over the last week Mr Sloan has applied burn cream to Steve's neck daily.

He said this incident was an early reminder to be prepared for the fire season.

'We were lucky the local wildlife park came to the rescue, we didn't expect the fire and it meant we had to act fast, but Steve is a pretty resilient emu and he's coming along nicely.'

If another bushfire were to encroach on the emu's enclosure Mr Sloan said he would consider bringing the three birds into the bar to keep them safe alongside the rest of the community."

Read the full report here: ABC News - Much more than beer: Outback pubs provide bushfire and emu refuge

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