Columbus police body cam captures escaped emu being detained following chase
Columbus police made an interesting capture Monday: an escaped emu on the city's west side.
Officer body cam footage of the incident starts with Green Day’s “Welcome to Paradise,” which was an ironic song choice given the events that would soon unfold.
An emu named “Big Bird” had gotten loose, and her owners attempted to recapture her, according to Columbus police.
“I’ve got eyes on an emu,” said the responding officer.
A dispatcher responded, “You’ve got eyes on an emu, you said?”
After the officer left his patrol car, the owner explained that coyotes had broken into a pen Sunday night, but authorities have not said if that’s how Big Bird was able to escape.
At first near the roadway, Big Bird made her way into a soybean field, being herded away from the tree line by the bird's owners.
Multiple drivers stopped to ask if everything was alright, and responded with laughter when told about the situation.
As the group waited for dog poles and leashes, the emu made her way deeper into the field with some bursts of speed to evade her would-be captors.
Big Bird ran away from all attempts, prompting a responding officer to radio, “Apparently emus are really fast.”
“My children love ‘Wild Kratts.’ They run close to 30 miles per hour,” another officer said over the radio.
According to the Smithsonian, emus can run up to 31 miles per hour, have considerable stamina and are even strong swimmers.
Emus are the second-tallest birds in the world, after their relatives, ostriches, and are native to Australia.
It’s a bird that also outfoxed the Australian military after WWI, with the country once declaring war (and losing) against the bird.
With leashes and dog poles in hand, officers hiked the entire length of the soybean field and doubled back around half way.
Being able to double back proved helpful, as the emu was surrounded and finally captured.
“Big Bird is in custody,” said one officer when she was finally captured. It took about 30 minutes for officers to capture the bird.
There were no reported injuries to the bird nor the responding officers in the search for Big Bird, and no charges are expected to be filed.