Bay of Plenty Times
‘Only in po¯tiki: Walk of shame for emu after runaway¯oescapade
First it was roaming horses. Now
po¯tiki has its own wandering emu, which could be seen dodging cars, kids on bikes, and local law enforcement.
But the unusual escapade did not last long when police swooped to the rescue, walking the bird back to its Union St paddock in the small Eastern Bay of Plenty town.
The drama unfolded on Sunday when the emu, a loved pet, was chased from his sanctuary by roaming dogs and was found on the road in a distressed state.
Witnesses said the emu got into a flap, running up and down Nelson, Wellington and Union streets.
Police were called and the bird was returned to safety on foot.
The scene played out in a video posted to Facebook, where a police officer can be seen walking beside the emu, followed by a police vehicle, which in turn is followed by children on bicycles who are filming the encounter.
po¯tiki District Council planning and regulatory group manager Gerard Mccormack said the emuwas a well-known feature of the town, having lived there for the past 15 years.
Mccormack said the emu used to be part of a “lovely” pair, but its partner wassadly killed by dogssome children enjoyed feeding the emu years ago. Emus mate for life. and expressed concern for its safety.
“The animal control team keep an There were also several angry eye on the emu as part of the regular comments that someone had allowed patrols and the owner always takes their dogs to terrorise the pet. care to ensure the emu is fenced and Others found the event bemusing secure ando¯ we’ve not had any issues,” and posted: “Only in po¯tiki.” he said.¯iso“however,inthisinstanceitthis po¯tiki’s only emu escapee, appears some dogs were let off-lead but the council is all too familiar with and fences were cut, which forced the other roaming livestock. emu out of the paddock, and it found Mccormack said in July that since its way to the road where it was the Covid-19 lockdown there had clearly distressed. been a huge influx of horses into the
“Thanks to the officers who helped township, which was not sustainable steer it back to a fenced paddock and given the amount of grazing available. safety.” This had led to more call-outs
In the wild, an emu’s life expectabout horses on roads and in other ancy is believed to be between 10 to people’s properties, and complaints 20 years, but they can live up to 35 of neglect with horses tethered withyears in captivity. out water or enough grass or in flood
Facebook comments about the prone areas. emu’s hı¯koi show it is a firm favourite The owner of the emu declined to in the town. Many people said their comment.