Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nothing. What's An Emu With You?

It hasn't even been 10 days since my last "runaway animal invades local freeway" story and there's another one. This one is actually in this country. Come on! Guess where in this country? You can do it! Think! Think! What's that? Yes! The South is correct! This time we're stopping by Appling, Georgia on Interstate-20.

This from the fine folks at the WSBTV News website. "Authorities are seeking the owner of a wandering emu that made drivers gawk and clogged traffic on I-20 before it was finally caught." I'm thinking that finding the owner of said rogue emu should not be a difficult task. How many lost emus in Georgia could there possibly be? The actual "seeking" of said owner seems unnecessary.

"The three-toed emu -- a flightless bird -- was spotted by numerous motorists on Wednesday after it appeared in the highway median between the Thomson and Camak exits" I'm going to have to hand it to them for mentioning the number of toes on the bird AND, in case anyone was wondering why the damn thing just didn't fly away, other than the fact that it is a BFB (Big Fat Bird), mentioning that this particular species of bird is, in fact, flightless. The fact that it was spotted by numerous motorists I suppose lends credibility to the argument that people actually use the Interstate.
"The biggest concern was the threat to motorists," said Law Enforcement Capt. Larry
Barnard of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Even with that description, I have no idea what that man's job is. But, what other concerns would there be? That the bird was lonely? "Since an emu is technically livestock it doesn't normally fall under our jurisdiction." What does "an emu is technically livestock" mean? Is that like a chicken is technically my dinner? Which non livestock creatures do fall under your jurisdiction, Captain Larry?
Columbia County animal control officers helped capture the bird, said Pam Tucker, director of the county's Emergency Services Department. "They surrounded it in the median -- with a lot of caution because emus will hurt you," she said. How does she know that? Previous emu experience gone awry, perhaps? "One of the animal control officers grabbed its legs and another grabbed the upper body and another put a covering over its head and they loaded it into the truck." It sounds like a bad movie of the week, but with Patty Hearst as the emu.
Tucker said a man from Wilkes County said he was coming to see if the emu was his. Who else's emu would it be? If I'm in Georgia and I'm missing an emu and I hear there's one traipsing about the freeway, I'm thinking, "Well, there he is!"
"We're hopeful," she said. "Emus are a difficult animal. After four more days, we will put him up for adoption." If no one claims it, the bird will be available for adoption on February 12. IF no one claims it? IF? Trust me, someone will claim the emu. With a selling point of "Emus are a difficult animal" how could it not find a happy new home? I wonder if those four days are the standard wait time for unclaimed emus?
"Emus are native to Australia and are the planet's second-largest bird, behind the ostrich. They are sometimes raised as livestock." Clearly, this was for all of the Southern residents who were wondering more about this strange animal? What is it's habitat? What does it eat? You mean there's a BBFB (Bigger Big Fat Bird)?
Of course all of this wouldn't be complete without mentioning some of the other items on the WSBTV site. "Just what IS an emu?" Once you learn that, you can jump to the next story: "Start Your Own Emu Farm!" And if you're having trouble getting that venture started, here, persue this story: "How to Adopt the Mystery Emu." Now, in the "My Fun" section, we have: "Party Like It's 1999 -- or 1950", "Macho Cars Men Drive" and "Nordic Walking Helps Burn Calories". The definition of "fun" at WSBTV must be a little different than mine if those are the stories under the "fun" category.
The similiarities to the deer on a leash story in the South are simply un-canny. And frightening.

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