The emu belongs to the group of birds that cannot fly. But this ratite can run at a speed of almost 50 km per hour. Surprisingly, they are very good swimmers and have great stamina. Today the emu is the last survivor of its kind. Another species, the black emu, which used to live on Kangaroo and King’s Island, was exterminated at the beginning of the 19th century.The plumage of the birds is monochrome grey-brown. Males and females cannot be distinguished externally. Until 1964 “head premiums” were paid for 14.476 killed emus. In the regions near the coast of Australia, the emu was exterminated in downright large-scale operations to eliminate the annoying food competitor of cattle and sheep breeders.Today the bird is still being driven away, but hundreds of kilometres of fencing are erected to protect agriculture. Since the animals are cut off from the water necessary for life in times of drought, the animal population is likely to continue to decline in the future.