Over a decade ago, people were convinced that emus were the next generation as a meat source and were purchasing emus to ranch the species. The caper proved to be a scam and the emu ranchers found themselves with birds that they could not sell.
Animal Shelters began filling up on these flightless birds as these would be profiteers began abandoning their herds on the streets of their communities. Animal Control Officers were learning to become emu wranglers. Once captured, the Officers were delighted to find that the birds had been microchipped and efforts were started to find the people who had abandoned the animals.
Knowing that the market had dropped out on emus; actually the emus market never caught on; the breeders reported that the microchips had never been registered, so as to prevent prosecutors from tracing the microchips to the animal’s owners.
For a short time in the history of local animal shelters, emus became fairly common forcing those shelters to educate themselves on the housing and care of this unique species.