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Bow emu caught after a week on the loose

Last modified: 9/21/2015 4:53:53 PM
An emu wandering around Bow has been caught, more than a week after it was first spotted.

Two neighbors – a father and son – captured the large, flightless bird in a residential area of Bow called Hampshire Hills on Sunday afternoon, said local bird specialist Maria Colby, who runs Wings of the Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary in Henniker.

Colby had been out looking for the bird throughout the week with some help from police and neighbors. She had been looking for the emu all morning and afternoon Sunday.

Though Colby and her helpers had spotted the bird and come close to catching it a few times, she finally had to step away to go to an appointment mid-afternoon. Just as a precaution, Colby left her net with the two neighbors.

“I was not even a couple minutes down the road when it was sighted in (their) backyard,” she said.

Using Colby’s handheld net, the father and son were able to capture the big bird by themselves. It took several people to pick the bird up and carry it to Colby’s car.

“It was a joint effort of the neighborhood,” she said.

Earlier in the day, the son had tried to catch the bird under Colby’s supervision, but the emu bit him and ran away.

Colby said the bird is male and about 5 feet tall. She said he appears to be healthy, save for a scratch on his face and a few missing feathers.

“He’s a pretty heavy bird,” she said.

The emu was first spotted by residents Sept. 11 and has been in the woods of Hampshire Hills, a residential neighborhood in town.

It’s not the first time the area has seen lost emus; two escaped from a Dunbarton farm in 2007 and were on the lam for about a week before they were captured. Those two are still alive, living at the Sunup Emu Farm in Barnstead.

Bow police did not return a call seeking more details about the bird before press time.

The bird is recuperating at Colby’s wildlife sanctuary, and she said she was relieved to see the search come to a happy end.

“I can sleep better tonight knowing he’s safe,” she said.

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, enilsen@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)


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