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Lone Tree vets nursing abandoned baby emu

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LONE TREE, Colo. -- Maxine Mager is a rat’s best friend. And a dog's, and a cat's, and a horse's and, on Monday, an emu's - one that was rejected by its parents.

In case you didn't know, an emu is the second largest bird in the world next to the ostrich.  So being a newborn, the baby emu needs a helping hand.

Mager founded creative acres near Brighton, Colorado, in Adams County.  The animal sanctuary houses over 100 species totaling over 400 animals.  Folks around her parts call Maxine "Mother Hen.”

"We don't care if it's a gerbil or a cat or a dog or a horse or a baby emu.  We're going to give it the best medical and the best quality of life,” says Mager.

On Monday, at Homestead Animal Hospital in Lone Tree, veterinarian Jerry Labonde had this diagnosis for the emu.

"I think it was just a real stressful hatch.  He came out dehydrated.  He's got some lactic acid built up in his muscles from struggling to get out of his shell."

After a thorough exam, the prognosis:

"The prognosis is guarded,” said Labonde. “Just because it's a newborn, and it's always hard to determine if we're going to get some improvement or not."

Mager doesn't know what to name the orphaned emu because it's too early to determine the sex.  But to have been rejected by its parents and now cared for by a "Mother Hen,” maybe “Lucky” would be a great name.

(Note: Maxine later named the emu “Daru”)