'Double trouble:' Two emu chicks debut at Brevard Zoo

- Staff at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, debuted two emu chicks this week, each weighing less than a pound when born.

According to zoo officials, the chicks emerged from their eggs following an eight-week gestation period on March 14 and March 15. A third chick began to hatch, but didn’t make it out of the egg. There are two remaining eggs that were placed in an incubator.

Zoo officials say after a female emu lays eggs, she may move onto another mate. The male is supposed to stay with the eggs to incubate and look after the chicks when they hatch. However, the father, in this case, “did a great job of sitting on the eggs,” but did take interest in the newborns. Animal staff took over and began raising the chicks. 

Michelle Smurl, director of animal programs at the zoo, said the emu chicks are living behind the scenes and are due to be put on public display in the zoo’s Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond enclosure.

Zoo officials describe the two emu babies as "cute, fluffy and energetic," but also “double trouble.”

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