An emu that had garnered national news coverage since it went on the loose in Orange County in June died Thursday afternoon during an attempt to be captured and relocated to a nearby sanctuary, according to an announcement from Orange County Animal Services.
“We had hoped for a better outcome,” Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto said in the release. “We did all we knew to do. We consulted with zoo experts to determine the best course. Unfortunately, she did not respond to our efforts.”
The plan to corral the emu and take it to a nearby sanctuary was concocted with the help of a board-certified avian veterinarian, along with two specialists from the North Carolina Zoo. The officials attempted to sedate the bird, but the emu did not respond to the low dosage of sedatives. The emu died when it “suffered an event while being restrained” according to the release. Attempts to revive the bird by using CPR were unsuccessful.
“Everyone is devastated,” Marotto said in the release.
The emu, which was known to be living near a creek in Orange County, had been fed by Orange County Animal Services for some time.
In August, Tenille Fox, Orange County Animal Services spokesperson, told the News of Orange that the plan was to corral the emu and put it in a nearby sanctuary for its own safety.
“We were concerned it could come out on the roadway and cause an accident or be injured itself, and we were also concerned with the opening of hunting season,” Marotto said in the release. “We didn’t feel leaving it alone was a viable option.”