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Emu on the loose

September 29, 2010

An elusive emu is on the loose in Catawba County.
Animal control officers are working to capture the animal so it doesn't become a danger to itself or county residents.
"This one's been quite elusive," said Jay Blatche, Catawba County Animal Services manager. "We've been chasing this thing for a couple weeks."
Animal services received 30-40 calls about the bird, which some people mistake for an ostrich. Emus are flightless birds native to Australia and can sprint at speeds of 40 mph, according to several websites.
The emu was spotted Wednesday on N.C. 16 near Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet. Blatche said most of the county's animal control officers were on the scene trying to capture the animal.
Because emus are not indigenous to the area, Blatche said the bird likely got loose or was discarded by its owner. Emus have large claws, and Blatche said the animals, "can be very dangerous."
If residents see the emu, they are asked to keep their distance and contact Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686.

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