GIFFORD, Ill. (WCIA) — People in Gifford got a surprise Thursday morning when they looked out their home windows and as students arrived for school: an emu in their yards.
Several people in Gifford reached out to WCIA to report emu sightings throughout town. Joshua Guhl and Maureen Lynch Clements both found the emu in their yards and submitted photos and video.
The emu eventually made its way to Gifford Grade School, making its appearance right as students were arriving. Principal Maggie Woodham said she was outside at the time, making sure students were entering the building safely, when she saw it. She pulled out her phone to record footage, which she too shared with WCIA.
“It made for an exciting last week of school for the kiddos,” Woodham said.
This is only the latest in a recent string of sightings of the emu, which has been on the loose in Vermilion and Champaign Counties since last fall. The most recent sighting was on Interstate 74 two weeks ago.
A WCIA reporter is on scene. He reported that the emu headed north on a county road outside of Gifford, where people are chasing the emu on their ATVs, trying to corral it.
The owner of the missing Danville emu has been contacted by WCIA, and he said that he believes this bird could be his. The owner also added that he went to Gifford to see if he could identify the emu, but was unable to locate it.