More than two dozens Australian emus found abandoned in a village in Jambughoda wildlife sanctuary nearly two weeks ago havent found any takers,with the Forest department keeping them at an enclosure meant for wild animals near Kada dam in the forest region as a temporary arrangement.
The Forest department officials said that they have approached several non-governmental organisations working for the welfare of animals as well as Animal Husbandry department of the state government,city zoo and Animal Welfare Board of India,but few have shown interest in keeping the birds. Even emu firms,which have sprouted up in large number in Vadodara,have declined their proposal to keep these birds,officials said.
The problem for most organisations is space,as these 25 emus,which are quite grown up,will take a lot of space. Some organisations say that they are not technically equipped to keep these birds, Vadodara District Forest Officer R G Prajapati said.
Recently,there have been a few similar instances where emus were abandoned by their owners in Surat and Gandhinagar,mainly by small farmers who purchased them from firms allured by a business model that looked lucrative,but eventually turned out to be a nightmare.
The business of emu rearing,which was popularised in the state during the last two-three years,appears to falter in the absence of proper mechanisms such as slaughter house to produce meat. Unlike some other neighbouring states,slaughter houses are banned in Gujarat. Also,farmers dont have incubation facility of their own to hatch eggs.
Emu rearing has never been feasible for farmers. They purchased emu birds without knowing how to make money out of it, explained Rushik Zinzuwadia,who runs an emu farm.
Firms sell a pair of emu chicks for Rs 8,000-10,000,depending on their size and the birds are mainly used for oil and meat,both of which require slaughter house.