(UPDATE) Officials said one of the emus has been located near the Village Mall. That emu is now home.
DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Emus are on the loose in Danville.
Vermilion County Animal Control officials said to not approach them as they will be aggressive. Animal Control Worker Hannah Hueston said you have to “tackle them and hog-tie them.” She said, “They will use their talons to gut you with one swipe.”
Ashlee, the emu owner’s fiancé, said the emus like fenced-in areas. They are calm when in their pen, but can run fast when they escape.
“If you chase them, they’re just going to continue to run further and further away. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to catch them when they’re just in a large, open area,” she said.
As of Friday night, she said they have captured eight. Three are still on the loose.
Ashlee said she and her fiancé received a call at 2 a.m. on Thursday. Police told them they received a phone call from teenagers who said they were being chased by animals.
When they arrived at the farm 30 minutes later, they saw a fence panel knocked over. She believes the people tried to climb the fence when it broke.
Ashlee said when they are working to capture the birds, stay away and keep your distance. Too much noise can startle the birds, making them harder to catch and bring home.
“Leave them alone because they are huge, fast, and mean.” said Hueston.
Kevin Smith, Vermilion County Animal Control officer, described the animals as scary.
“They’re a lot like an ostrich. They’re tall, long-necked. They have talons on their feet. They kick like a horse kicks, front and back,” he said.
The emus are from a retired State Trooper’s farm. Hueston with Vermilion County Animal Control said that someone intentionally opened the gate to the trooper’s farm letting his cows and emus go. The fiancé said no cows escaped.
They have had the birds for 25 years. The emus have escaped in the past but normally stay close by. Ashlee said she was surprised to hear they were on the streets of Danville as well.
Officials said one of the emus was hit by a bus.
This is a developing story.
As of July 30th one Emu is still on the run.