ORLANDO, Fla. – The "alligator capital of the world" welcomed a new resident this week that has a little more fluff than chomp. Gatorland park officials in Orlando said their very first emu chick hatched recently and they've named it Beeper.
The park acquired seven emus more than 10 years ago and for the first time one of the emu eggs, which incubate for about 70 days and are rotated by hand, successfully hatched.
Beeper could soon be part of a young mob -- also known as a group of emus -- as Gatorland staff said there are a few other emu eggs still in incubation. Another fun fact: A group of emu eggs are called a clutch and emus usually lay five to 15 eggs per clutch, according to the San Diego Zoo.
Animal care staff don't know if Beeper is male or female but say the little bird will grow quickly and be full grown in only six months. Adult emus can grow to be 6 feet tall and weigh more than 100 pounds.
“We are thrilled to have our very first baby emu born here at Gatorland. We will know in a few weeks when we do bloodwork if our baby is a boy or girl,” Gatorland’s Animal Care Director Danielle Lucas said.
Lucas said Beeper currently weighs 391 grams and is enjoying a diet of leafy greens and pellets.
Gatorland provided some photo and video of Beeper but guests can see the little chick in person in a couple of weeks in in the emu enclosure located behind Pearl's Good Eats.