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Master of Scaremonies
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Cops gun down emu
October 12, 2006 - 1:14PM

Police have shot and killed a 45kg, 1.5-metre emu that tormented drivers on a busy American highway.

Police in Illinois shot the bird on Monday out of fear that it could cause a fatal accident, after six reports that the big bird had wandered onto the highway. Authorities said they had no idea where the bird came from.

"We figured someone would call and say, 'That's my bird!'", Granite City police chief Rich Miller said. "But we still haven't heard from anybody." Raised for their eggs, oil and protein-rich lean meat, emus have become a bit of a farming trend in southern Illinois, where they are not native.

In June, police in Carbondale, about 160km south of Granite City, needed five shotgun blasts and three rounds from a rifle to dispatch one of the flightless birds after cornering it in a residential area, where it was said to have pecked on a home's window. "We figured that sooner or later our luck was gonna run out" and the emu would cause a crash," Miller said of the bird on the highway.
"If we had some way to catch it, somewhere to take it, that'd be fine. The ability for us to be second-guessed is always out there, but we decided that now is the time to end this."
 

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When I worked for a wild animal park in South Texas we had 13 ( yes thirteen) emus dropped off at the front gate in the middle of the night. The first thing we did was call the Highway Patrol ( we were on a major interstate highway) and told them the birds were NOT ours. Before the cops got there we had rounded up all but two. They came in, guns blazing, going to mow down the last pair. Right in front of them, we 'cowboyed' them to the ground and shoved the birds into a horse trailer.


I just smiled at the cops and told them that I'd hoped they were better at catching crooks then they were at catching emus.

So we hacked off the cops and had to build a quick corral to house the birds. Still a funny story.
 
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