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Lazybrook Adventure -Giant Escaped Exotic Bird Reunited With Owner



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Lazybrook Adventure —

Giant Escaped Exotic Bird Reunited With Owner

By Andrew Gorosko

After two days of wandering across the local landscape, an errant, escaped emu surfaced Monday afternoon in a Lazybrook Road backyard, attracted by the cool waters of a swimming pool on the hot summer’s day.

The almost six-foot-tall exotic bird, which is kept as a pet by a local man, reportedly briefly jumped into the backyard pool for a dip and then just as quickly jumped out.

The residents there quickly decided that their pool was for domestic use and not a watering hole for giant, flightless birds native to Australia.

Town Animal Control Officer Gerri Breyan was thus summoned to the scene, as you would expect, to control the animal.

Emus, though, are not dogs or cats, nor raccoons or skunks, so they pose some special animal control challenges.

The escaped male emu, weighing about 75 pounds, has a mind of his own. Capable of six-foot vertical jumps, 30 mile-per-hour sprints, and forceful kicks when threatened, such birds are elusive.

Darting about the Lazybrook neighborhood in a tight trot, the agile, nomadic bird with powerful, springy legs alternately pivoted, bounded, and twisted, while Ms Breyan attempted to coax the evasive feathery avian into submission.

Away at the time of the bird’s discovery, emu owner Ken Tardie, of Lazybrook Road, was soon alerted that the towering bird had returned to its neighborhood after being missing for two days.

Mr Tardie promptly arrived in a rumbling pickup truck, sized up the problem, and then proceeded to his home several hundred yards away to get the gear required to trap the ranging emu.

Quickly returning in a tiny utility truck, Mr Tardie held a bright blue lasso in his hands while repeatedly approaching the emu in attempting to snare one of its legs to immobilize it.

Simultaneously, Ms Breyan held a large bucket of water out toward the bird, seeking to bait it with the prospect of a drink so that it could be snared.

Again and again, the wily avian eluded capture, repeatedly slipping out of the looped plastic rope that Mr Tardie had tossed into its path of travel.

Eventually, the owner was able to wrestle the bird to the ground, isolating it, before carefully placing it in the cargo area of the tiny pickup truck for a trip back home to the pen from which it had escaped two days earlier. A trail of black and gray feathers traced the bird’s return home.

Mr Tardie later explained that an open gate had allowed the curious 1-year-old bird to wander away from home for a two-day adventure. Mr Tardie keeps two other pet emus at the property.

“They’re a tough bird,” Mr Tardie said.

Ms Breyan noted that emus are surprisingly strong animals, capable of kicking a person down to the ground, and must be approached with care.

In the past, while on an animal control call in another town, she learned of the challenges posed in trying to capture the exotic critters.

Full-grown emus can reach 6½ feet in height and 130 pounds.

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