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Police Kill Errant Emu in Ill.

October 11, 2006

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) _ Police shot and killed an emu after fearing that the flightless ostrich relative, wandering around for three days near a highway, would cause an accident.

Authorities said Wednesday, two days after the bird’s demise in this St. Louis suburb, that they do not know where the animal came from.

``We figured that sooner or later our luck was going to run out″ and the emu would cause a crash, said Police Chief Rich Miller. ``If we had some way to catch it, somewhere to take it, that’d be fine. The ability for us to be second-guessed is always out there, but we decided that now is the time to end this.″

Raised for their eggs, oil and protein-rich lean meat, emus _ at least the errant variety _ can run as fast as 35 mph and are capable of aggression with anyone who gets too close. The emu shot Monday weighed 100 pounds and stood at 5 feet.

In June, police in Carbondale, about 100 miles south of Granite City, killed an emu after cornering it in a residential area.

Miller said Granite City police had heard rumors that someone nearby might be raising the birds, though that has not been confirmed. The American Emu Association’s Web site shows no emu breeders in the area.

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