Del. Finally Busts 'Rogue Emu'

Critter was on lam for more than 2 months, prompted soft lockdowns at schools
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 15, 2015 9:33 AM CST
An emu stands in a field in Odessa, Del., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. It has been on the run for the past 66 days and prompted a "soft" lockdown at two elementary schools.   (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)
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(Newser) – An emu whose escape more than 60 days ago prompted lockdowns at two Delaware elementary schools has been captured. “We got it. Locked and loaded” in the trailer, Dan Stonebraker, co-owner of 3 Palms Petting Zoo in Clayton, tells the News Journal. "It’s safe. It’s happy. He’s real content." Private parties and state officials netted the flightless bird Thursday afternoon at the Stonefield housing development near Odessa, says Daniel Shortridge, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture. Stonebraker says the bird will be moved to a secure facility.

The runaway emu was spotted Monday near Spring Meadow Elementary School and Old State Elementary School, leading to a "soft lockdown" at both schools. Officials sent a letter alerting parents and saying students remained inside while normal activity continued. Over the past week, authorities have received a growing number of calls from people who had spotted the bird or come close to hitting it. No one, however, has come forward to claim the emu. "It’s a male. It’s very docile," Shortridge tells the News-Journal. "It was definitely a pet because it’s very comfortable around people." (Read more emu stories.)

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