EMU Put Down To Protect The Public

The Cassgram reports the female emu that had been loose after getting away from her owner near Louisville was sighted in Plattsmouth about 9:45 a.m. Friday, in the vicinity of the old Wintersteen school building. Plattsmouth Animal Control and police responded.

Several minutes later the large flightless bird native to Australia was spotted on Lincoln Avenue. Animal control and police surrounded the bird in their vehicles and tried to keep it in a clearing. City worker Brian Wagner assisted in the herding on foot. On a couple different occasions the bird walked into Rhylander Park.

It was about 11:30 a.m. when a report was given that indicated the bird had been shot and killed.

The Friday before, May 8th, sheriff’s deputies and Terry Grell on horseback—the man who roped the roaming and elusive bovine dubbed “Ninja Cow” a couple years ago—unsuccessfully attempted to capture the bird in the area of Beach Road north of Plattsmouth. Pictures had been forwarded to Cassgram of the bird in the River Road area in the days since.

Animal Control Officer Sue Baker investigated the use of a tranquilizer gun but Police Chief Steve Rathman said no other agency was willing to come and help.

Rathman said he learned emus can “get spooked and become aggressive” so he was worried about the danger to people at ball games and activities at the park if the emu stayed in the area. Emus have sharp heals and can kick very hard. Captain Dave Lamprecht of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department said he had talked to Omaha Police about an emu capture there some time ago and found out that bird had been placed in a horse trailer and dented out the sides with its kicks.

Determining there was a risk to the public’s safety the chief ordered officers to humanely destroy the animal. The owner, who was on scene, agreed with the decision, said Rathman. The owner took the carcass.

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