Just as restrictions from coronavirus are slowly being lifted, a pub in the Australian Outback is going back into lockdown. But not for the reason you might suspect.
The Yaraka Hotel — the only pub in the remote Queensland outpost of Yaraka with a permanent population of just 18 people — is barricading the premises after two emus wreaked havoc inside. The large, flightless birds learned last week they could climb the stairs of the establishment, letting themselves in and leaving a wake of destruction.
“When emus get a fright, they head in a forward direction but are normally looking behind so they can’t see where they’re going and this is where chaos can happen,” owner of the pub Chris Gimblett told the Associated Press. “They bump into everything.”
Gimblett solved the problem by stringing a rope across the top of the stairs with a sign reading “Emus have been banned from this establishment for bad behavior.” Of course, the sign also assures that customers may still enter but are asked to please replace the rope behind them.
The emus are not a new nuisance to visitors at the Yaraka trailer park. The nosey birds have been known to lean into windows stealing coffee, toast, and whatever other food is lying around, according to Gimblett. Needless to say, the locals are not emu-sed.
As of now, the birds haven’t been clever enough to get around the rope but in the meantime, Gimblett says they’re in lockdown. “At least it’s emus and not coronavirus.”