CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — An elusive emu evaded Illinois State Police along Interstate 74 in Central Illinois on Tuesday afternoon.
Illinois State Police released a statement that they responded to a report of an animal on the roadway on Interstate 74 at milepost 189, just east of Urbana, around 12:15 p.m. When officers arrived, they reported that there was an emu on the interstate.
ISP said troopers chased the emu off the roadway. However, ISP said the emu ran into some heavy timber and the troopers lost sight of the emu. Jennifer Sigler shared a video on Facebook, and with WCIA, of Illinois State Police officers trying to apprehend the emu.
Police said no other information is available at this time.
Video Courtesy: Jennifer Sigler, Facebook
University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine confirmed that they had been contacted about the emu, but would not provide any additional information at this time.
WCIA viewers also shared their accounts of the events with the emu.
Bailey Harrington caught the emu as it made its way across Interstate 74 near the University Avenue exit, as traffic stopped and cars tried to avoid hitting the bird.
Barbie Jean Blakley told WCIA she also saw the emu on Interstate 74, about three-quarters of a mile east of the University Avenue Exit in the eastbound lanes. She captured a photo of the emu which appeared to be walking casually across the interstate.
Blakley said she was switching lanes to avoid emergency vehicles when she noticed the emu was in the lane she was switching to. This prompted her to slam on her breaks.
The emu sighting sparked much conversation on social media about where the emu came from, where it may have been traveling to, and more.
This isn’t the first time that an emu has been out on the loose in Central Illinois. Last October, we reported that an emu was spotted in a WCIA viewer’s backyard. The viewer called Vermilion County Animal Control, but the large bird was not caught.
At that time, the emu was suspected to be one of the almost a dozen emus that escaped their Vermilion County pen. Officials said it took several days to round up eight of the escaped emus, with three still unaccounted for at the time.
In July, WCIA reported that emus were on the loose in Danville. Vermilion County Animal Control officials said to not approach them as they will be aggressive.