Emu escape: Giant flightless bird gets loose in Washington County

Washington County deputies had an unusual encounter with a giant bird Thursday morning. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said dispatch received a call around 7:30 a.m. from a neighbor about a friendly Emu who was on the loose. When deputies arrived at the scene they could be heard laughing on body camera footage about the situation.  

"Yeah we’ve made contact with the Emu," a deputy said while laughing. 

The Emu appears to have jumped a fence to make its great escape before someone eventually came to retrieve the giant bird. The two deputies hung around with the homeowner and Emu while it had a delicious snack. 

"Yes, that’s an Emu. He got loose this morning in Grant and Deputies located it — just hanging out with a homeowner eating apples. Looks like this guy was super friendly," the sheriff’s office tweeted

An Emu is a flightless bird that can be around 5 feet tall and weigh more than 100 pounds. They make up for their lack of flight with speed, as they can run at nearly 30 mph. They're native to Australia but can be found at zoos across the world, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.