- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

An emu is on the loose in the Centreville area, and Fairfax County officials are asking residents and motorists to keep an eye out for it.

The emu is one of three that escaped from a farm in the 15000 block of Braddock Road on Monday morning.

The trio fled through a broken fence, authorities said.

One returned home on its own and the second was caught by Fairfax County animal control in the 5300 block of Chandley Farm Circle and returned home.

The third is still on the loose.

“As far as I know, we haven’t had any sightings [yesterday morning],” said Bill Tanner, administrator of the county’s Animal Control Services.

Emus belong to the same family as ostriches and are natives of grassy plains and dry forests of Australia.

They are brown, leggy and flightless. They can grow to be 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 150 pounds. They have been known to live more than 30 years.

Running emus take 9-foot-long steps and reach speeds of 40 mph.

County police said the emu probably will stay off the roads and highways unless it is frightened or cornered. Emus are typically shy.

“We urge citizens to be careful,” Officer Camille Neville said.

Officer Neville said the missing emu was seen a few miles away from home at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, near Kamputa and Sully Park drives.

Anyone with information about the location of the emu is asked to call the Fairfax County Animal Shelter at 703/830-1100 or police non-emergency number at 703/691-2131.

Arlo Wagner

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