Bay of Plenty Times

‘Only in po¯tiki: Walk of shame for emu af­ter run­away¯oescapade

- Char­lotte Jones Bicycles · Law Enforcement · Outdoor Hobbies · Hobbies · Law · Wellington, New Zealand · Facebook

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.

 ?? Photo / Sup­plied ?? A still from a video de­pict­ing po­lice catch­ing an es­caped emu in
po¯tiki.
Photo / Sup­plied A still from a video de­pict­ing po­lice catch­ing an es­caped emu in po¯tiki.

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