WATCH: Keeping a close eye on our emus
THE EMU population of the Clarence Valley is believed to be in serious decline, and sightings can be rare.
However, as a pair of emus and their newborn chicks have arrived at a popular crossing spot on Brooms Head road, a local resident wants to let people know to be wary of them, and help protect them.
Kathy Brown said she first spotted a solitary emu last Monday, and stopped to let it go past.
"The first time, a large emu was on the southern side of the road and I saw it from a distance," she said.
"I had already slowed down upon reaching the emu signs but pulled up completely as the emu started to move towards the road - before it decided to turn back to the verge.
The next day on her return, the male emu was near bushes in the same place with four chicks following in the nearby grass.
"Dad walked off into the paddock and you could jut see the chicks' heads bobbing through the rustling grass," she said.
"The third time Dad and seven chicks were in the same spot at the edge of the road - the chicks sticking close to Dad's legs. They didn't try to cross the road."
Ms Brown said she stopped each time as not to scare the animals, but decided to film and photograph them as a record.
However, when filming the third time, she saw something that made her determined to spread the images across social media.
"We had completely stopped on the side of the road ..... when on car zoomed past us heading towards Brooms Head," she said. "The driver would have to be blind not to see the emus.
Ms Brown said that the emu turned back towards the bushes and the chicks followed.
"I do feel for them. It seems to be a nightmare of a crossing for them," she said.
Ms Brown, like many other local residents has seen them at the spot marked by warning signs at Taloumbi many more times in the past week, and said often the emus wandered in a panic trying to find a safe way across the road.
"I feel like crying when I see it," she said. "I can't wait unfortunately to see how they go and I also don't want to scare them by hanging around.
"They blend in well with the vegetation on the side of the road … people really do need to slow down."
Clarence Valley Council has posted a warning for people to take caution in the Taloumbi areas, with pink ribbons hanging from the emu warning signs a marker to indicate that emus are currently active in the area.
Sightings can be reported through a website designed to track the movements and information on the dwindling coastal emu population, which could be as low as 50 according to the site.
You can enter your sightings at https://www.clarenceconversations.com.au/coastalemus
Clarence Valley Council will soon decide on whether a proposed speed limit decrease for the area will be enacted following an appeal to the traffic committee.