North West Wales

Pet emu missing from family home

Emus Image copyright Lindsey Wright
Image caption The two emus were used to going out for walks

A three-month-old pet emu called Zig has gone missing from its home in forests near Bala in Gwynedd.

The exotic bird is one of a pair given as an unusual birthday present by Lindsey Wright to her husband Peter.

Both Zig and Zag disappeared from their remote Llangywer home on Monday when the family was out.

Although Zag showed up at a neighbour's house the following morning, her brother is still at large and his owners are desperately hunting for him.

Mrs Wright thinks the emus had been missing for three hours when the family discovered they were gone at about 18.30 BST.

They searched all evening without success, but had more luck the following morning.

She told BBC Wales: "The next day our neighbour about an hour away got the fright of his life when he looked out of his window and saw Zag," she said.

The family is concerned that Zig will not cope very well away from home for very long.

She said: "When we got Zag back she was absolutely ravenous and that's after one night. Being hand reared, they haven't got the natural instinct to go scratching around although they are used to drinking out of ponds and streams."

Mrs Wright was planning to alert wardens in Snowdonia just in case the escaped bird made it as far as the national park boundaries.

The family already had a large collection of animals on their mountainside smallholding including 15 birds of prey when Mrs Wright was trying to decide on something out of the ordinary for a gift.

She said: "I bought emu eggs from eBay, put them in an incubator and two months later they hatched out.

"They have been running around the house for a while and they go outside. The children love them. We go for a walk and the animals come. The dogs come, the pet lambs and sometimes the cat.

"It looks quite funny when we're out."

The birds are about 2.5ft (0.75m) tall and will grow to around 6ft (1.8m), presenting something more of a challenge than at present.

But Mrs Wright is confident they can be managed. "Hopefully with them being hand reared they are supposed to be very friendly and inquisitive. We have definitely got the space."

Image copyright Lindsey Wright
Image caption Emus Zig and Zag snuggled up with the family dog

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