- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The same emu that ran loose around the Wicomico Shores neighborhood last month took off again and is running at large in the Newport area of Charles County.
On Nov. 14, St. Mary’s County Animal Control captured the large, flightless bird off Indiantown Road in St. Mary’s. The emu was sent to the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville and its owner came to claim it. The shelter did not release the identity of the bird’s owner.
“We believe it’s the same bird,” said Edward Tucker, chief of Charles County Animal Control. The owner who lost his emu last month was contacted and “he’s missing his again,” Tucker said.
A property owner spotted the emu Wednesday afternoon and the bird’s owner is working to recapture the bird, Tucker said. Charles County Animal Control won’t try to capture it unless it becomes a public safety issue, he said.
Gretchen Heinze Hardman saw the emu on Monday when she was on her way to work at the Community Foundation of Charles County. “It came across [Route] 234. I think a dog was chasing it,” she said.
While other cars slowed down, she said, “I can’t believe I was the only one who stopped. It was like a dinosaur running across the road.”
She followed the emu in her vehicle onto Newport Church Road and took a few photos of the bird as it casually strolled down the road.
“He was not threatened by the car,” she said.
The bird kept looking back at a farm across from Newport Church Road and eventually ran back there, she said.
Tucker isn’t aware of any emu farms in that area. “Nobody knows of anybody that has any,” he said.
The birds, kept as livestock, can be hard to contain and harder to catch. It took two St. Mary’s animal wardens to catch the emu last month off Indiantown Road. They had to tackle the bird and hold it down after it was caught in a net.
Weighing up to 100 pounds, the birds have large talons on the back of their legs that can cause serious lacerations.