Internet Rallies for TikTok’s Emmanuel the Emu After He’s Struck by Avian Flu

Internet Rallies for TikTok’s Emmanuel the Emu After He’s Struck by Avian Flu

If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you’re aware messages of support were pouring in for Emmanuel Todd Lopez, the usually plucky Emu. A popular presence on TikTok, Emmanuel was reportedly struck by the avian flu shortly after Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida’s Gulf coast. According to his caretaker, 50 birds at the farm where Emmanuel resides had already died from the virus, leaving just Emmanuel and three other birds. Now, it’s down to just two. While it was initially believed that Emmanuel had dodged the bullet and was going to escape unscathed, on October 15th, it was announced that he’d fallen ill and his health was failing fast.

Bird Flu

Anyone on Twitter likely saw @ecosister‘s sad posts regarding the diagnosis and updates on Emmanuel’s condition. He’s so sick, even the Washington Post covered it.

Living on a small farm called Knuckle Bump Farms in south Florida, it’s said that wild geese flying onto the property are responsible for transmitting the deadly virus.

Owner Taylor Blake noted in a series of posts that the other birds died over a matter of just three days. Then on Wednesday, Emmanuel also contracted the illness.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, a highly contagious strain of avian flu has been confirmed in wild birds in 32 counties in Florida since January 2022.

In a startling admission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50 million fowl have been impacted by the disease as of Friday the 14th.

Rallying Around Emmanuel

Keeping Emmanuel’s followers up to date, Taylor released a tweet on October 16 noting the TikTok star may have turned the corner on his illness. She announced that he had just drank water on his own for the first time since falling ill and had finally sat up. Previously, she had noted the need for hand-feeding and giving him subcutaneous fluids every two hours around the clock, as he couldn’t eat or drink on his own. At one point, he had to be sedated to stabilize him until a specialist could be located and attend to poor Emmanuel.

Emmanuel Emu Making Comeback

Emmanuel reportedly suffered nerve damage due to the virus affecting his right foot and leg, so Taylor and her girlfriend fashioned a sling to keep him upright over the last couple of days.

While they are caring for him 24/7, the two women are coasting on fumes as far as sleep. Taking it one day at a time, they are buoyed by the amount of support in the form of prayers they are receiving and hope that it may help save Emmanuel’s life.

Unfortunately, even with the progress the emu has made over the last 24 hours, he is presenting with a condition known as wry neck today, which is a bit of a setback. While not uncommon in baby emus, it is not normally seen in adults.

Physical Therapy

During his road to recovery, Emmanuel Todd Lopez will need to undergo physical therapy to improve his condition, but Taylor seems confident that he’ll “crush it” just like everything else he does.

“He is a fighter, and I wholeheartedly believe he is going to make a full recovery,” Taylor has shared. Here’s hoping he pulls through and gets back to entertaining his fans on TikTok soon.

This article by Rebecca West was first published by The Animal Rescue Site. 

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