Aggressive Defence! Encountering Emus in Belair National Park




Thuppahi’s recent item on the readiness of mother wild animals – an Elk in this tale – to enter into human contact at close quarters encouraged a Sri Lankan friend to present this Email Note: “Hi Michael, …. This is an amazing and heart-warming incident. This story is different from your normal writing in politics and history which educates me immensely. This elk story and potential attacks by wild dogs reminds me of an incident when we were at a picnic in the Adelaide woods near your place: an ostrich (sic) came and forcibly grabbed our lunch from our hands and from the table. I never experienced that before – What they can do with their long necks and heights they can reach! …..

Taller than a standing man some of them!

Cheers, ……….Jayantha de Silva Samarasinghe (Brisbane–Woollangabba).

      *** ***

“Jayantha” was a cricket-mate at Flinders University whom we knew as “Sam” and is referring to the Belair National Park which is next door to the Roberts house in Glenalta, Adelaide. Quite incidentally, I can support his tale regarding the aggressive capacities of Ostriches.





... a typical footpath Belair Park

One winter day my wife and I were walking along a footpath in the forested bushland part of this extensive Park and rounded a corner – surprising an Emu …….. maybe 5-8 yards distance away. That EMU immediately lunged at us.

Shona turned instinctively and instantly and ran. I had my hands in my coat pocket, but instinctively jerked my right hand and the key ring pouch to hit the ostrich….

BUT …. I did not have to do so because that BUGGER arrested his/her strike and withdrew. S/he was maybe one/two yards away from me when s/he arrested the INTENDED PECKING HIT. PHEW!

PS: Misled by “Sam” I referred to Emus as “Ostriches” but Colin Fernando (an experienced hunter in Lankan arenas) has put me right!


Filed under Australian culture, life stories, nature's wonders, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, trauma, travelogue, wild life, world events & processes

2 responses to “Aggressive Defence! Encountering Emus in Belair National Park

  1. Colin Fernando

    That’s an Emu, and not an Ostrich. Nevertheless you certainly had a lucky reprieve.

  2. Daya Wickramatunga

    Many thanks.

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