TikTok-famous emu Emmanuel is fighting for his life amid an outbreak of bird flu


Emmanuel, the emu who gained viral fame on TikTok for his sensational behavior, is in a serious condition after contracting bird flu, according to his owner.

CNN previously reported on the emu, which became famous after its owner, Taylor Blake, began posting videos documenting life on her small farm, Knuckle Bump Farms, in South Florida. Emmanuel repeatedly interrupted Blake’s videos of other animals to peck at the camera and got millions of views in the process.

Blake has written a long Twitter thread Saturday, describing the “massive tragedy” caused by an outbreak of bird flu on her farm.

Wild geese that flew into the farm transmitted the virus, she said. More than fifty of her birds, including three emus, died in three days.

So on Wednesday, Emmanuel was also affected by the disease, she wrote.

“Currently he is stable. His neurological symptoms have subsided but he still won’t eat or drink on his own,” she wrote. “I feed him by hand and give him subcutaneous fluids every 2 hours around the clock.

“He is a fighter and I believe wholeheartedly that he will make a full recovery.”

The emu is suffering from nerve damage in its right leg and foot, Blake said. Blake posted snapshots of the sling she and her boyfriend constructed to help him regain function in his leg.

Emmanuel and a swan named Rico are now the only birds left on the farm, Blake wrote. The facility is also home to cows, deer and pigs, among other animals.

“I have taken the time to process and grieve as much as possible while dedicating all my time to the animals and their well-being,” she wrote. “It’s hard to grieve when so many lives depend on you.”

A highly contagious strain of bird flu has been confirmed in wild birds in 32 Florida counties since January 2022, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Almost 50 million poultry have been affected by the disease on Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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