11/19/2013 12:00 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2013

Emus Take Over Australian Town After Drought Drives Them From Brush (VIDEO)

Drivers in Australia have another type of traffic to worry about.

Emus in Longreach, Queensland, have taken to the streets near the town center in search of food. Usually, the large birds stick to the brush, but a combination of above-average temperatures and a lack of rainfall has forced the animals from their normal habitats.

As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, emus have wandered residential streets in the area for the past several months but only recently ventured further into town. The influx has caused quite the problem for Longreach drivers, since the birds have appeared to become comfortable living among humans.

"They are taking absolutely no notice of the people, or the cars or dogs," Longreach Mayor Joe Owens told ABC. "When they are crossing the street, people have to stop for them. They just toddle across as they please."

Deb Scott, the owner of a gallery and coffee shop in the town center, said a mob of emus was wandering up and down one of the town's main streets this week.

"They were waltzing up and down the street, drinking from the puddles and having a nibble in the garden beds at a council redevelopment site down the road. They were making themselves right at home," Scott told The Australian.

Longreach's government is not taking any action to remove the native birds from town. Instead, officials have urged caution, advising residents to navigate around the birds.

While some residents are amused by the emu invasion, others seem a bit perturbed by their new neighbors.

(Hat tip, Arbroath)



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