An emu, rescued from a poacher in Greater Noida’s Jewer area in April this year, has become a cause of worry for officials of the Uttar Pradesh forest department.
The male Australian bird, which has been kept at the Surajpur bird sanctuary, is finding it difficult to live there without a mate.
Officials said despite several efforts, they have been unable to find a partner for the long-legged bird. They said they cannot even release the bird in the sanctuary because it may disturb other migratory birds.
“I went to the Delhi forest department office and asked wildlife professionals to give us one female emu to provide a mate to the male bird with us. But we are yet to find one,” said NC Upadhyay, ranger officer, Gautam Budh Nagar forest department.
“We observed that the emu had stopped eating and drinking during the breeding period in June because he has no partner. We are unable to provide any comfort to this bird,” he said.
According to officials, male emus experience hormonal changes during the breeding period in June.
“They form pairs in December and January so that they can breed in summer. As December is around the corner, we are worried that if we fail to find a female emu, the bird is bound to get irritated. In June this year, he did not have food and water for a week,” Upadhyay said.
Officials had rescued the emu after a poacher injured it.
“The bird’s legs were severely injured and it was unable to walk properly then. When it stopped eating in June, the doctor told us that it is because of the breeding season,” said Uday Singh, who takes care of the emu.
According to officials, the emu, which is the second largest bird in the world, is now surviving on 3 kg wheat and insects per day. The forest department spends Rs.1,500-1,600 to feed him.