Longreach emus find world wide fame
THE main street of Longreach has become the stomping ground for a thirsty mob - of emus.
And their presence is creating a media storm, generating national headlines and even warranting a call from a news service in the UK.
"It is unbelievable," said resident photographer Deb Scott, who had just fielded a request for photos from Sky News. "We didn't get this much coverage when the royals visited."
It is believed the emus - most often a male with two chicks, and three juveniles - have come to town in search of food and water as drought strangles Central West Queensland.
They were not sighted yesterday but they had been seen wandering through the traffic on Eagle St for about five days, undeterred by vehicles or pedestrians.
"They seem quite friendly. Everybody stops for them but nobody gets too close," said Deb, explaining that the big birds get right of way from motorists.
"They just wander along the street up to the big roundabout outside the council chambers, and walk right around it.
"I have never seen so many photos being taken before. It is something of a novelty."
The birds were "in their element" on Sunday when a 30-minute downpour created a few puddles from which they could drink.
Deb said it was the first rain all year that had lasted for any length of time.
Storm clouds were gathering over the town yesterday.
Long-time residents have told Deb they have never before seen emus in the CBD.