Escaped Emu police chase

by take-a-break |
Updated on

My pet emu had made a break for freedom, but he soon had the law hot on his heels! By Harry McKinney, 44

Emu police chase

As I sprinkled chicken feed into the coop, I heard my wife Dana calling for me.

‘Harry, can Angie borrow our incubator for some eggs?’ she asked.

We’d kept hens for years and occasionally used an incubator. Our friend Angie’s equipment had broken down and she needed our help to hatch some very special babies — emus.

We all gathered round to watch in amazement as the little birds broke open their shells from the inside, then emerged and began staggering about on their spindly little legs.

‘You can keep a chick if you like,’ said Angie.

We accepted and called him MeeMoo, and soon after he was joined by a female called MeeMee.

At the age of two, MeeMoo was fully grown at 6ft 5in, and he was tall enough to reach over the top of our fence and peck passers-by.

‘Maybe we should move to somewhere with more room?’ I suggested.

Dana agreed, and we relocated to a 40-acre farm.

One day, we received notice that logging was due to take place in a nearby oak wood. The trees were massive, and the ground shook whenever one fell.

‘It sounds like an earthquake!’ Dana said.

It clearly spooked MeeMoo, because the next day our friend Annobelle hurried across our lawn with news.

‘MeeMoo just jumped over the fence!’ she said.

I sped round to the front of the house and found Dana.

‘I’ve just seen MeeMoo heading for the main road!’ she said.

Heart thumping, I jumped into my van while Dana fetched our quad bike, and then we set off in pursuit.

But MeeMoo had a head start on us, and we lost him.

When I spotted a police officer, I pulled over and asked: ‘Have you just seen an emu?’

‘As a matter of fact, I have!’ he said.

Together we searched the area, asking everyone we came across if they’d seen MeeMoo.

'We're tailing him down the motorway'

At first, plenty of people were happy to chat about the ‘wild ostrich’ they’d spotted. But then the trail went cold, so I decided to turn to social media for support.

Has anyone seen an emu? I posted on a Facebook group.

Sightings began to pour in.

People sent videos of MeeMoo speeding across their gardens, and it wasn’t long before the police managed to track him down.

‘We’re tailing him down the motorway,’ a police officer told me over the phone. ‘We’ve clocked him going at 31 miles per hour!’

emu police chase

Eventually, they corralled MeeMoo in a back garden. And when I got there, I found five police cars and at least eight officers!

They’d also brought in a wildlife expert.

While we were discussing our plan, a car pulled up and a man stepped out.

‘Excuse me, but what are you all doing at my house?’ he asked.

‘I’m so sorry,’ I said. ‘My emu’s in your back garden!’

The homeowner joined a watching crowd as I cautiously approached MeeMoo. He was cowering by the hedge, but he relaxed when he saw me.

Emu police chase

‘Good boy,’ I murmured, slipping a dog leash over his head.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as I secured him.

‘I don’t have a trailer with me,’ I said. ‘We’ll just have to put MeeMoo in the van!’

As I climbed into the driver’s seat, I realised how ridiculous we looked and snapped a photo as MeeMoo grinned cheekily at the camera.

He’d been gone for eight hours and had run roughly 20 miles.

We bought an extra four-foot length of wire mesh to fix to the top of the existing fence, but before we could fit it, MeeMoo made his second break for freedom!

Luckily, this time, Dana and I managed to get him back within the hour.

emu police chase

Once the logging stopped MeeMoo felt safe again, but his reputation continued to run wild.

We got messages from all over the world from people telling us how MeeMoo’s story had brightened their day.

In the end, we set up a website selling merchandise, including a children’s book about his great escape. The proceeds go to a local animal shelter and other charities.

MeeMoo’s a celebrity now — and the proud father of three little chicks.

I just hope they haven’t inherited their dad’s taste for the open road!

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