Two new emu chicks arrived at the Australian Reptile Park just in time for the new year and have been christened Kath and Kim after iconic characters created by Jane Turner and Gina Riley, following a global naming competition.
Park Director Tim Faulkner said the names were fitting.
“We all think Kath and Kim are the perfect names for our newest family members; I love watching visitors meet them for the first time, they’re full of personality,” he said.
The two new arrivals, who have taken all the keepers’ hearts, have also befriended park resident, Alinta the Yellow-footed rock-wallaby.
Faulkner said Alinta had taken it as her task to welcome the emus in a friendly way, even to the point of sharing her lunch.
“We are so excited by our gorgeous new additions to our Australian Reptile Park family,” he said.
“These emu chicks are cheeky little buggers that we cannot wait to unleash into the main park area for our guests to get up close and personal with.
“Emus are impossible not to love, even if they’re sneaky and steal the odd hot chip or too from unsuspecting families.
“It is important that guests leave the Australian Reptile Park feeling connected to our wildlife and wanting to do what they can to help.
“Even if it stops just one family from speeding this holiday season and accidentally hitting an emu, or any other Australian native species for that matter, we have done our job.”
On the other side of the park, keepers have stopped a kangaroo joey, Frankie, from ‘sucking’ on her toes by fitting each paw with a pair of breathable, organic socks.
This suckling habit developed while she was being cared for after being rescued from her mum, Ollie, who suffered from mastitis and a pouch infection.
The suckling caused a small sore area on her feet, but keeper, Brooke Barton, said the small socks are protective enough to allow her to hop around still and play.
“She is such a kind, sweet little girl who loves hopping around in her socks,” Barton said.
“She is healing excellently, and they will be off in no time.
“Frankie requires 24/7 care in a mock, knitted pouch for warmth and four bottle feeds a day.
“Once she is big and strong enough, she will be let out and about to run amok at the Australian Reptile Park in our free-range kangaroo area, where visitors will eventually be able to hand feed her and say hello.”