South Louisianans once coveted flightless birds- enough to pay upwards of $12 thousand for one bird.
Dr. Tom Tully teaches avian and zoological medicine in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. He likened the popularity and cost of ostriches and emus to the housing market or dot-com bubble.
“A 6-month-old emu cost about $250 in the late 1980’s,” Tully said. “By 1992 a 6-month-old emu cost about $15,000.”
But, like both the housing and Internet bubbles, the once thriving flightless bird market abruptly ended.
“Back in the 80’s I used to treat 20, maybe 30 or more birds per week. Now I see maybe 2 a month.”