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Emu voluntarily herds sheep after fence destroyed by wildfire

Friday, January 24th 2020, 10:39 am - By the time the emu had been caught on camera, it had been herding sheep for about two days.

"In times of trouble, Mother Nature lends a hand."

That's the message Bryan Hayden, a landowner in Victoria, Australia posted to Facebook alongside a video of an emu voluntarily herding sheep after bushfires destroyed the fencing that was keeping them contained.

Hayden’s added the video to his real estate business Facebook page on January 16. At that point, he says the emu had been hanging around the sheep for at least two days.

“After the bushfires at Buchan we came across an emu that was corralling all the sheep. It’s mustering all the sheep for us and he’s been doing it for two days. [It’s the] most extraordinary situation,” he said.

According to Storyful, Hayden found the emu while surveying his 800-hectare farm following a damaging fire that roared through the area in the final days of December. Approximately 90 per cent of Hayden's land, and its fencing, was destroyed.

“There are virtually no fences left standing making stock handling very difficult,” he said on Facebook.

“While trying to inspect the surviving sheep, a wild emu instinctively rounded up a flock of ewes and lambs and held them in place as a normal sheep dog would do. Then off to find another flock. Hard to believe, but in disaster nature prevails."


Earlier this month the Australian government announced it has set aside an initial 50 million AUD ($34.56 million) dollars for the bushfire wildlife relief efforts.

Half of that will go to treating injured animals and the other will be used to for post-fire recovery efforts.

While there is no exact tally for the number of animals killed in the fire, some estimates have put the number at around 500 million.

Australia RedCross

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