In this photo taken and released by Leanne Byrne, an emu named Carol, three years old and raised from an egg, walks around…
An emu named Carol, 3 years old and raised from an egg, walks around behind a fence in Yaraka, in the Longreach Region, Queensland, Australia, July 5, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Leanne Byrne, via AP)

The only pub in the remote Australian Outback town of Yaraka has been forced to ban local emus – large, flightless birds – from the establishment for "bad behavior."

The emus have been part of the population of the tiny Queensland state outpost for about two years, ever since local resident Leanne Byrne rescued eggs from an abandoned nest in 2018 and hatched them with the help of an electric blanket.

At one point there were nine emus, but now all but two, named Carol and Kevin, have moved on.

The two emus have become very used to people and generally have been entertaining to locals and tourists as they roam the town in search of food.

But local pub owner Chris Gimblett said Tuesday things took an intolerable turn last week when Carol and Kevin discovered they could climb the front stairs of the Yaraka Hotel, the only local pub.

Gimblett said not only would the birds steal food off the plates of patrons, but they would snatch other items such as car keys or even beer. They also had a habit of bursting into a run when startled and looking behind them as they fled, causing what Gimblett described as "devastation" in his dining room.

But the worst behavior, Gimblett said, is their "bathroom" habits, and when they began leaving droppings on the floor, he knew he had to act.

So beginning Tuesday, he hung a chain across the door to the pub, explaining the emu ban and asking customers to reconnect the chain after entering.

Gimblett told the Daily Mail newspaper that he holds no ill will against the emus, in spite of their reckless behavior. He said while they are a nice tourist attraction outside, they just are not sophisticated bar patrons. 

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