TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “Emmanuel,” the viral interrupting emu who became famous with his caretaker, Taylor Blake, on TikTok does not have bird flu, Blake recently confirmed.
Blake tweeted an update on Saturday that Emmanuel tested negative for avian influenza in two lab tests.
“God is good! Thank you for the prayers, the kind words, and the support. Always trust your intuition!” she tweeted.
Blake said she and others believe Emmanuel’s illness stemmed from stress, tweeting that emus are “highly susceptible to stress” and that the emu was “incredibly overwhelmed by the state coming in and euthanizing [the] flock.”
Many followers of the caretaker and emu pair were alarmed at photos in tweets of Blake cuddling the emu, given the dangers of the virus. According to the CDC, bird flu does not usually infect people, but there have been rare cases of human infection.
Blake and Emmanuel became known for a series of TikTok videos where the emu interrupts Blake as she tries to create informational videos about animals and farm life.
According to NBC News, the flock of birds at Blake’s Knuckle Bump Farms in south Florida had to be euthanized after catching bird flu when a flock of wild Egyptian geese visited the farm.
NBC reported geese and other types of waterfowl can carry avian influenza, which can be passed through saliva, mucus and droppings.
According to Blake on Twitter, the farm lost 50 birds in three days.
“I’m getting stronger each day, friends! I am now able to lift myself up and reposition myself on my own,” Blake tweeted from Emmanuel’s perspective on Monday. “This is a BIG step, because before, I would just fall over. My neck is starting to straighten out and I am drinking lots of water on my own! Thank you for the prayers.”