THE emu which inexplicably found its way into the Orange Botanic Gardens has been relocated after a joint effort between the Orange City Council and Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) Central West.
On Tuesday a licensed darter tranquilised the animal before a team of experienced wildlife workers transported the bird to a facility near Dubbo.
According to WIRES Central West volunteer Louise Krieger, the 12-hour operation was a success.
"He now has 800 hectares of grassy woodlands to call home, along with other emus to help him learn how to survive in the bush,” Ms Krieger said.
“This bird was incredibly strong and came out of sedation quickly, so keeping him calm for the long journey and managing his airway was a challenge.
“We would like to thank all those concerned members of the public that kept calling WIRES as they were worried about this young emus’ safety.”
Council’s Manager of Corporate and Community Relations Nick Redmond paid tribute to those involved in the rescue effort.
“The emu had to be moved to a safer location for both the animal’s safety and that of the community,” Mr Redmond said.
“The emu was a wild bird and it had been frightened by gardens’ visitors. There was a chance it could injure a person or itself.
“WIRES had been incredibly helpful and was able to capture the bird and relocate it to a much safer home.”
The consensus among animal experts was that the emu was dumped in the gardens.
In a statement released on Wednesday WIRES Central West said: “Whoever was responsible probably felt the Botanic Gardens was a nice place for an emu, but in reality it was a solitary existence and apart from being denied the ability to mate and reproduce, emus are sociable birds that need to be in a group situation”.
“It was also dangerous as the gardens border the busy Northern Distributor Road and it could have caused an accident.”