Rogue Emu Captured In North Jersey
I think one of my favorite pages in all of Wikipedia is the Great Emu War. Back in 1932, residents of Australia waged "war" against the local emu population. The highlight of the entire page is the summary where it lists the outcome of the war as "FAILURE" - the freaking emus were the winners!
I'd like to think that if you traced the lineage of one of those emus from the 1930s, eventually you'd land on the bird that was spotted running around two towns in North Jersey yesterday. EMU FREEDOM FOREVER!
Police and animal control in Paterson received a number of calls about a strange animal roaming the streets. One witness described it as something "from outer space", while another guessed it was an ostrich. Eventually the bird made its way to Totowa, where Animal Control Officer Mike Rodriguez came face to face, and was able to capture the bird with a snare pole.
The emu was brought back to the city animal shelter, and will be transported to the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital for evaluation. As long as it is healthy, it will be relocated to a local animal sanctuary.
As of yet, officials don't know where the bird came from. Emus can grow to about 6 feet tall, weigh 80 pounds on average, and run as fast as 30 miles per hour, so it's a pretty dangerous animal to just be unaccounted for. The Turtleback Zoo is about ten miles from Totowa and Paterson, but hasn't reported any missing animals. There are a few farms around New Jersey that are homes to emus, but you would assume they would claim ownership. It actually seems likely that this was a pet of someone who, maybe, should not have owned an exotic animal. Rather than get in trouble, they may just wash their hands of the whole thing.