Officials Lasso Maine Emu Who Flew The Coop

Jun 1, 2018

A 19-year-old emu known as “The Bird” who bolted from his animal sanctuary home in Lisbon two days ago is back where he belongs.

The Bird
Credit Rockin' T Equine Sanctuary and Rescue Facebook page

Janet Tuttle of the Rockin’ T Equine Sanctuary and Rescue says he was discovered behind her neighbor’s house Friday afternoon, but not before he’d led friends and neighbors on a chase that went back and forth across a river and through the woods.

“He had people all through the woods — my granddaughter, my daughter, all the neighbors, firemen and the animal control officer. But I told my husband, I said, ‘They’re not gonna get him because you can’t chase him. You can’t outrun him. He’s smart,’” Tuttle says.

She says the 100-pound, ostrichlike bird can run about 30 mph. Tuttle says the only way they were able to capture The Bird is by sneaking up on him, momentarily distracting him and throwing a lasso over his head.

“We finally got a rope on him. We put a sheet on his head and he dropped to the ground, ‘cause that’s what he does, and we brought him back down and put him back in the pen,” she says.

Tuttle says it took several people to load him into a small golf cart to take him safely back home, where he’s being given a dinner of grain and grapes.

This was not The Bird’s first escape. He made an attempt a decade ago and was missing for three weeks.