Tall and majestic, the emu belongs to a group of flightless running birds known as ratites, the most primitive of the modern bird families. The ratite family includes the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, and rhea, all birds found only in the Southern Hemisphere. The soft-feathered, brownish emu is common throughout most of mainland Australia, although it avoids big cities, dense forests, and deserts.

The emu is the second-largest living bird in the world (the ostrich is the largest), with adult female emus being larger and heavier than the males.


Conservation Status: Least Concern
Least Concern - LC


Here are a few fun facts:

  • Usually solitary, emus can form enormous migratory flocks when moving toward better food resources. Flocks have been tracked traveling long distances for food.
  • Emus have three toes on each foot in a tridactyl arrangement, which is an adaptation for running and is seen in other birds, such as bustards and quails. The Ostrich has two toes on each foot.
  • The emu has good eyesight and hearing, which allows it to detect nearby threats. Its legs are among the strongest of any animals, powerful enough to tear down metal wire fences!

Park Hours

Open 7 days a week
April 1 st – October 31 st:
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

November 1 st – March 31 st:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

Admission Prices

Adults 13 & over: $10.00

Children 5 to 12: $8.00

Children 3 to 4: $5.00

Seniors 65+: $9.00

Children 2 years & under — FREE

Our Location

Charles Paddock Zoo is located at 9100 Morro Road, Atascadero, CA 93422

Contact Us

Phone: 805.461.5080

Email us at info@charlespaddockzoo.org



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