Sydney Zoo has been alerted to a resident jewellery thief – a brazenly confident emu named Bert, who has made his presence known after snatching a woman’s $550 earring.
Known mostly to eat seeds, fruit and small lizards, this emu decided to shake it up with a vegetable breakfast consisting 24 carats.
Bert lured in the victim with a prized selfie opportunity before snapping at her ear and gobbling up her shiny Tiffany & Co piece.
Bert was then seen bolting to another area of the enclosure at the Western Sydney Parklands facility.
“You can see him eyeing my earring out,” Ashna Ali said on A Current Affair. “I sat down and as I finished clicking, he just grabbed it, grabbed my ear, I felt a peck. That could have been my daughter’s eye.”
Zoo manager Chris Rivett was made aware of the Reservoir Dog at large on his grounds after Ms Ali chased up money to replace the expensive piece. Mr Rivett said the zoo was optimistic, sifting through Bert’s droppings daily looking for the earring.
“There’s a happy ending,” he said.
“Seven days has passed, the earring has not turned up which is not surprising, we’ve been in contact with Tiffany’s who said they’ll make another earring. It’ll take roughly two weeks.”
The latest drama came barely a week after Sydney Zoo lost treasured chimpanzee Mogli. The zoo made the shock announcement after staff found the beloved animal dead in its chimpanzee habitat at the Blacktown zoo on Friday morning.
We are currently investigating the circumstances and once more information is known we will make a further statement,” Sydney Zoo said in a statement.
“The team are in a state of deep shock and grief.”