Officials Plan Controversial Emu Underpass

Experts say the birds won't use it

Ryan O'Hanlon

Are emus too dumb to walk under a highway? It’s a question Australians are currently mulling as they decide whether or not to move forward with proposed additions to the country’s eastern Pacific Highway. Authorities are spending millions of dollars on upgrades and expansions to the roadway, which currently includes “four dedicated underpass structures designed for the emus, three 5.5 meters (18ft) high and the other four meters (13ft) high,” according to a spokesperson. However, wildlife experts don’t think the birds, which grow as tall as 6’6’’ and cannot fly, will be able to understand the purpose of the underpass. “Emus are big birds with little brains,” said Gary Whale of Birdlife Australia. Instead, experts say that the planned additions to the Pacific Highway will intersect the emu foraging and breeding area. “It could see the extinction of the coastal emu,” Whale said. The decision on whether or not to use the underpasses will be finalized later this year.

Via The Guardian