X-rays reveal Eddie the emu ate diamond earrings
EMUS are notorious for scoffing anything and everything. They'll even swallow stones to help digest their tucker. But when it comes to eating ''rocks'', Eddie the emu has expensive tastes as this little bloke devours diamonds.
Brisbane Valley wildlife carer Mel Pope is minus a very expensive pair of diamond earrings after Eddie pecked them out of her lobes last month.
Eddie arrived at Ms Pope's Kobble Bird Shelter as an orphan several weeks ago after his father was run over in western Queensland.
"He's attracted to anything shiny and as I was picking him to move him from inside to outside, he grabbed one of my earrings," she said.
"He was lightning fast and the back of the earring just dropped and fell to the floor. As I was trying to recover from the shock, he got the other one, too."
A 'distraught' Ms Pope took Eddie to the vet to determine if the emu might pass the jewels anytime soon, but X-rays revealed they were lodged firmly in his gut and were not going anywhere without surgery.
"He's only a little bird and I didn't want him to go through the ordeal of an operation just for a pair of earrings, lovely as they were," she said.
After sifting through Eddie's poop in vain, Ms Pope contacted her insurer who agreed to cover the cost of the $2000, half-carat diamond and white gold studs using the X-rays as evidence of her claim.
"My insurance company were absolutely amazed when I told them what had happened and laughed pretty hard," she said.
"They laughed even harder when they saw the X-rays."
Ms Pope said Eddie, who the X-rays revealed had also swallowed objects including a bolt, was showing no ill effects. "He's still running around like mad and eating like crazy," she said.