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- An emu has been on the loose in North Carolina for weeks.
- Officials tell the News Observer that if you see if you should stay away and call for help.
- It is likely an escaped pet, but officials tell Huffington Post that an owner hasn’t come forward.
- The emu, which is native to Australia, is a flightless bird that can run up to 30 miles per hour and jump 7 feet into the air, according to the San Diego Zoo.
- They can be verrrrry dangerous.
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It’s large, it’s flightless, and for weeks it has evaded capture. An emu has been on the loose in North Carolina for the past three weeks, according to the Huffington Post.
The human-sized bird stands at 5-feet-tall and weighs 100 pounds, according to the News Observer. It was recently seen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where it once again avoided being caught.
According to CBS 17, officials in both Orange and Chatham County have been after the bird, but to no avail.
“It’s a wild animal and it’s pretty big, so it’s going to be hard to corral it,” Todd McGee, an Orange County spokesperson, told the News Observer.
The emu, which is native to Australia, is a flightless bird that can run up to 30 miles per hour and jump 7 feet into the air, according to the San Diego Zoo.
McGee told the News Observer that if you see the bird, you should “stay away from it.”
— Chris Williams (@ChrisW_SpecNews) July 15, 2019
Speaking to the Huffington Post, Orange County Animal Services spokesperson Tenille Fox echoed those sentiments.
“We are urging the public NOT to approach, try to catch, or handle this animal,” Fox wrote. “This emu is pretty large and could potentially be dangerous if it becomes fearful or defensive.”
It’s unclear exactly how long the emu has been on the loose for or where it was housed before that. According to the News Observer, no one has reported a lost bird. “At this point, no owner has come forward,” Fox told the Huffington Post.
Fox said that as this weekend’s heatwave looms, authorities are worried about the animal’s safety.
“We worry about causing more stress in this heat,” Fox said. “We also don’t want the emu to wander onto a road with heavy traffic and get hit by a car. We hope he/she is finding ample water in this heat as well.”
The bird was last seen on Thursday at a home on the Chatham-Orange County lines, Fox told the News Observer. However, by the time authorities arrived, the bird was gone.
Still, officials are plotting for the bird’s capture – and their current plan will require a lot of space.
Said Fox: “We’ll most likely need natural containment, something like a pasture with a fence, to confine him enough to get him into a trailer.”
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