Vancouver Island police use Taser to subdue runaway emu
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 2:42PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:52PM PDT
An escaped emu blocked a busy road and forced police to use a Taser Tuesday morning in Chemainus.
According to the North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP, a five foot tall emu weighing approximately 100 pounds escaped from a farm near Chemainus just before 10 a.m.
Mounties say the large flightless bird decided to stand firm in the middle of Cheminaus Road. It was a decision that would ultimately force police to take action.
According frontline officers, the animal caused a major disturbance to traffic and also became a safety concern for passing pedestrians.
Police blocked traffic in both directions for 30 minutes as a plan to capture the emu, one of the world's largest bird species, was hatched.
Animal control officers were called to the scene, but the escaped creature, with powerful and dangerous legs, was already agitated.
Acting aggressively and in close proximity to humans, the decision was made to use a conducted energy weapon, or Taser, to subdue the large earthbound bird.
“Our primary concern is always safety… not only to the public and to our officers, but also to animals,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Chris Swain.
Once in police custody, the emu was returned to a neighbour's farm where the animal is said to be in perfect health.
Neighbour Jim Dyke says it's not the first time the pet emu, who's name is Parker, has escaped, though it is the first time he's been Tasered.
"It was probably easier than tackling him," said Dyke, who's housing the emu until the owner returns next week.