Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Amok Time in Emu Land

Beware of the Emu!

JAY (Okla.) - A rogue Emu threatened neighborhood pets and residents Wednesday in the Big Hollow area of Zena. Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies were called when a resident reported a “large bird” had attacked the family dog.

Upon investigation, it was determined that a male Emu had been sitting on a next full of eggs when it became agitated and ran off, heading west toward the Big Hollow area. According to the owner, male Emus sit on the eggs in order for them to hatch after the female has laid them.

The Emu is a large, flightless bird native to Australia. It is second only to the Ostrich as the world’s largest bird.

The owner of the Emu claimed the bird was not aggressive and she has no idea what caused it to leave the nest and run amok.

This particular emu was "domesticated," which doesn't mean much. What the story does not say is that there are scores of emu wandering wild in northeast Oklahoma after having been released on their own recognizance, so to speak, after owners finally gave up trying to a) deal with their odd behavior and b) make any money raising them.

The Brother of the Oklahomilist was explaining this a couple of nights ago: how the emu craze began with wild promises of thousand-dollar or more emu eggs, and how there would be developing markets for meat, feathers and, of course, more eggs. Alas, like most get-rich-quick schemes, this one had its own harsh reality, and so there are itinerant emu reinventing their own portion of the American wilderness. Not even the resurgent coyote stands a chance against the emu's flailing talons!

This is necessary background information in order to understand the next couple of paragraphs of the story:

She asked authorities if they could catch the bird as she had no way of doing so herself. Officers told her they had no means of securing the bird, and the owner then gave them permission to “shoot him."


Authorities reported the bird was still at large Thursday morning after eluding police, and it is their hope that he will return to his home. If not, they will be forced to shoot the bird should he continue on his rampage. The owner pondered the fate of the bird, should he be destroyed. Her hope was that his death will not be in vain as “Emu meat is not only nutritious, but very delicious if cooked properly.”

Sounds like a sales pitch to us.


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