The emu has been spotted in Chatham County as well, Sara Pack, administrative lieutenant and public information officer for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, said. Their Animal Services team is on the lookout.
There have been a number of posts about emu sightings on the social network service Nextdoor.
Once animal services sends officers to the locations of the sightings however, the emu has been very hard to track down because of how fast it moves, Fox said.
Animal services is worried about the safety of the emu, especially in the heat of the summer in North Carolina, Fox said.
The best case for capturing the animal safely would be for it to be contained somehow, either in a place with natural barriers or in a pasture, Fox said.
“There was a pig in Carrboro that was loose recently, and he walked into a dog park, into the fenced area, and some nice citizen was kind enough to just close the gate,” Fox said. “That’s how our officers got there and were able to corral him into a trailer without much trouble, because he was in a contained area. But even he was pretty fast, and I think this emu is faster.”
The officers looking for the animal are trying to be careful and keep track of the animal without causing it unnecessary stress or harm, Fox said.
Fox urged the public not to get too close or try to touch the emu if they see it and are able to corral it into a pasture or containment area. Emus are large and fast, and could become defensive if they feel threatened.
Animal Services is hoping to find the owner of the bird soon, so that they may have more information on the animal.
The animal control team of Orange County Animal Services has started to keep track of residents who own livestock in the county, so that it is easier to track down the owner of animals that get loose, Fox said.
Farm animals, such as goats and pigs, more commonly get loose in the Chapel Hill area.
Fox said an emu on the run is a rare occurrence in Orange County.
“If (a lost emu) has happened it was a very long time ago, like probably over a decade,” Fox said. “This is not something we deal with a lot.”