An Australian Outback pub has banned emus for "bad behavior," and erected barriers to prevent the large, flightless birds from creating havoc inside. Locals and tourists have been bemused by the antics of the emus eager to steal food from people in Yaraka, a remote Queensland outpost with a permanent population of 18. But things took an intolerable turn last week when two of the birds, Carol and Kevin, discovered they could climb the front stairs of the Yaraka Hotel, the only pub, publican Chris Gimblett said Tuesday. "They've learnt to walk up the front steps of the hotel, which has been causing just a few issues," especially with the amount of their waste, he said.
Gimblett solved the problem by stringing a rope across the top of the stairs. A sign advises customers to replace the rope once they enter because "emus have been banned from this establishment for bad behavior," the AP reports. The inquisitive emus are not yet clever enough to duck under the rope to get inside the pub. Visitors staying at the Yaraka trailer park have been surprised by the lengths emus will go to steal food and drink, Gimblett said. "If you've got a mug of coffee on the little table by the door, they will drink all the coffee, without spilling it," he said. "You just discover that your mug's empty. They're just eating machines," he added. "We're in lockdown mode," Gimblett said of his barricaded pub. "At least it's emus and not coronavirus."