Local News

Elusive emu remains on the run in Hillsborough

Posted July 31, 2019 8:51 a.m. EDT
Updated August 2, 2019 6:12 p.m. EDT

— An emu is on the loose in Orange County, according to government officials.

The emu, nicknamed Eno, was first spotted in early July. Officials are not sure where it came from.

Tenille Fox, spokesperson for Orange County Animal Services, is asking people to stay away from the bird. According to Fox, emus can travel as fast as 30 miles per hour and weigh as much as 100 pounds.

"What we really need is for this emu to wander into an area that provides some sort of containment – such as natural barriers, a pasture, or some sort of fenced area," she said. "If the emu is in an area like that, an Animal Control team can try to block the animal off even more and hopefully corral the animal without causing further stress. We worry about causing more stress in this heat."

Fox said if the emu becomes defensive, he can be dangerous.

"He is not an inherently a dangerous creature. He is not going after people, he is running from people," she said.

It’s legal to have emus as pets or livestock in Orange County, and at least a few farms have them, Fox told the New York Times. There are more than 11,000 emus on U.S. farms, according to the Department of Agriculture’s 2017 census, but it’s not common for them to run away, Fox said.


Anyone who spots the emo should call Orange County Animal Control at 919-942-PETS (7387) Monday through Friday. On evenings and weekends, callers can dial 911 to be connected to the on-call Animal Control Officer.