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Fleeting Wonders: Emu On The Lam In New Hampshire

Some emus in Australia, where they are supposed to live.

Some emus in Australia, where they are supposed to live. (Photo: djpmapleferryman/Flickr)

Police in Bow, New Hampshire are tracking down a feathery fugitive.

For several days, the station has fielded reports of an emu wandering around town.

The large bird has explored at least 3 different neighborhoods, and recently approached an officer without fear, Sgt. Art Merrigan told the Associated Press. No emu farms in the area have laid claim to it, so the department has brought in a wildlife rehabilitator to assist in its capture.

 

Here is a video of the elusive emu.

Posted by Bow, NH Police Department on Sunday, September 13, 2015

A video from the police department shows the emu stepping out of the forest leisurely and looking around like he (or she) owns the place.

Over the past few years emus have escaped in MichiganMaryland, Vermont, New Jersey, and Florida. They often spend weeks orienting to their new freedom, commuting on the highways, strolling through town squares, and touring elementary schools. The UK, where the closely related rhea is the giant introduced flightless bird of choice, is often set a-flutter by similar escapes.

An escaped emu named Taco crosses a highway in Cape Canaveral, Florida in 2012.

This emu’s name and purpose are unclear, but will surely reveal themselves soon. 

Emus can run 30 miles per hour, flapping their claw-tipped vestigial wings for balance. They sleep only 90 minutes at a time, can go weeks without eating and days without drinking, “easily climb over high fences if necessary,” and will swim if they must. If you have seen this emu, call the dispatch center at 603-228-0511. Best of luck, New Hampshire. 

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.