Fighting a War Against the Emus

Fighting a War Against the Emus

Image Courtesy of Polandball Wiki

Michael Finnen, Staff Writer

I will not waste any time with introductions. The nation of Australia declared war against emus and lost. Most countries value and protect their official bird, but not Australia; they decided to try to eliminate them. This article will detail the immense debacle which is known as the Emu War.

The Great Depression, which began in the United States, actually had huge ripple effects all over the world. Australia was hit very hard, especially the farmers. Many of these farmers were ex-World War I soldiers who had been given land to farm on and had been promised government subsidies, which they did not receive. The Depression caused the prices of wheat to drop significantly, causing many farmers to struggle to get by.

This problem was compounded by the migration of some 20,000 emus. Previously, they had migrated to the coast to breed but found that the land which the farmers were on was much more desirable to obtain food and water. Thus, the emus began to ravage the farmers’ crops. Running out of options, the ex-soldiers turned to what they knew best: good old-fashioned guns and violence. They sought the help of the Australian Government, specifically the Minister of Defense, George Pearce, in order to help thin the emu population. Pearce not only saw this as a good opportunity to help the farmers but also as some good “target practice” for his soldiers and a chance to get some good propaganda for use later on. Pearce agreed to send military personnel with machine guns to take out the dangerous emus.

This pseudo-war would prove to be both very costly and embarrassing for all involved. What everyone failed to realize is that emus are very athletic birds, being able to run at even 31 miles per hour (about half the speed of a cheetah). Three men set out to kill the emus tried to ambush them many times, only to have the emus sprint off in every direction, splitting into smaller groups, and escaping, resulting in low numbers of dead emus, and many bullets wasted. The men also soon found out that the emus were actually able to take bullets and keep running. Another day, the men waited for the emus to come closer, and fired into the huge pack, only to have the gun jam and become unusable after 12 emus were killed. They even tried to put the machine gun on a car and chase the emus, but the bumpy terrain did not allow the gunner to fire any shots. This prompted Major G.P.W. Meredith, who was head of the operation, to state that the emus were like tanks and that the Australian Army would be invincible if they recruited emus to join them.

Following negative coverage from the media, the Australian Government pulled out the soldiers, and so, the Australian Army was unable to overcome the massive emu forces. They lost, and the Emus continued to devour the crops for much time to come.