Emu evades Lakeville Animal Control for over a week

Local News

The emu has been on the loose in Lakeville since at least Aug. 27, police say.

There is an emu on the loose in Lakeville, and it appears to be highly skilled at evading law enforcement. After over a week of searching, Lakeville Animal Control still has not caught the wily Australian bird.

Animal Control Officer David Frates alerted the town’s residents of the emu’s presence in a Facebook post on Aug. 27. The bird has been spotted around Lang Street and County Road, he said.

“As it has been [seen] in numerous areas, it is harder to pinpoint one area to catch it. I have a man who is experienced at catching emus willing to help, but we need to find where it hangs out the most,” Frates wrote in a second Facebook post Monday.

The emu’s owner moved out of state, the animal control officer said, so it has no home to return to. He asked residents to be on the lookout for the bird and report any sightings by calling 508-947-3891.

The emu was still on the loose as of Wednesday evening, Lakeville police said. It is unclear what will happen to the emu once it is caught.

Earlier that day, a resident in the area spotted the bird in her backyard. Lisa Niles wrote in a Facebook post that she was starting homeschooling Wednesday morning when she saw the emu and contacted animal control.

“He is being tricky now and hiding out in the woods behind the house seems like! Crazy!” she wrote.

Later that day, WLNE reporter Daniel Coates tweeted that a Lakeville resident who lives on Howard Lane almost ran over the emu with their car around 4:30 p.m.

That resident then found footage of the bird on their surveillance camera both in the morning around 9:20 a.m. and again around 3:40 p.m., Coates reported.

This isn’t the first time an emu has gone on the lamb in this area. In April 2018, according to Freetown Animal Control, two emus escaped their enclosures in Freetown, which borders Lakeville.

Freetown Animal Control was able to capture one emu, and Lakeville Animal Control captured the second soon after.

In September of that year, an emu from the same road went missing again, Freetown Animal Control said. It returned to its enclosure on its own two months later.

Lakeville police said the emu currently on the loose in Lakeville belonged to a Lakeville resident. It’s unclear if there is any connection between the Freetown emus and the Lakeville emu.

According to the Smithsonian Institute, emus are native to Australia. Their average height is 5.7 feet, and they typically weigh 110 to 121 pounds. While they cannot fly, they can run up to 31 mph.

Emus are one of the few exotic pets you can own legally in Massachusetts.