December 2, 2008

Search On For Pair Of Escaped Emus

The Canadian owner of two escaped and mischievous emus in rural southwestern Ontario is hoping the big birds will return home as temperatures get colder.

Big Bird 1 and 2, a male and female, jumped fences weeks ago at the farm of Sandy Soulliere outside Harrow, 25 miles southeast of Windsor, the Windsor Star reported.

The female was recaptured but escaped again by jumping the fence, Soulliere said.

She acquired the Australian three-toed flightless birds in September to save them from being butchered, and said she realizes she'll need higher fences since the 5-foot birds can jump 7 feet.

Sightings of the pair are common, she said.

I've been getting reports saying 'Well, your Texas turkey is back here. Come on and get it' (and) 'Your emu's peering into the windows here,' she said.

There were also reports the birds chased down bicyclists on a nature path, she said.

Soulliere said she thinks the birds are surviving on corn left in fields, and are well camouflaged with their brown and black colors. However, a snowfall would make them not only stand out more, but more likely to return home to their pen, she said.