NEWS
20/08/2018 10:19 BST

Australia Drought Sees New South Wales Town ‘Mobbed’ By Emus

The birds have been "running laps of the main street, eating gardens and gate crashing football matches".

A town in New South Wales, Australia, is being “mobbed” by thirsty emus, as one of the state’s worst ever droughts continues.

The whole of NSW is officially in drought and Broken Hill, which is in the outback, has become an emu hotspot as the birds look for water. 

ABC News reports that the emus have been “running laps of the main street, eating gardens and gate crashing football matches”.

Local wildlife worker Emma Singleton said: “We’re seeing mobs of them.”

Rescue and Rehabilitation of Australian Native Animals (RRANA), where Singleton works, has received numerous calls from worried locals.

“We are averaging at least two or three callouts a day,” Singleton added. “They’re all coming in looking for water and food.”

Residents on the outskirts of Broken Hill are being urged to leave water out for the animals but those in the centre are being warned against it, as it could encourage the emus to to come into town.

David Gray / Reuters
A drought affected paddock near Walgett, New South Wales

“People should be mindful of their dogs and the wild animals at the moment,” Singleton said.

NSW is usually responsible for more than a quarter of Australia’s agricultural output, but a dry winter has left many fields of crops failing.

Farmers are also struggling to provide food and water for livestock and Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull recently announced A$1.8bn (£1.03bn) of aid for farmers who have been affected by the drought.