- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—No one has claimed an emu that was running loose in Parks last week, so the big bird will likely spend the rest of its days at the Westmoreland County farm where it was taken after being captured.

“He’s very tame for an emu,” said Linda Posh, who has been housing the animal at her Greensburg farm. “He’ll eat food right out of my hand.”

Animal response teams from Armstrong and Westmoreland counties captured the emu along Gravel Bar Road on July 20 after a weekend the bird had spent running free.

“Somebody had to have raised him by hand,” said Posh, who is a member of the Westmoreland response team. “He either got loose or was let out of a pen because somebody didn’t want him anymore.”

Jessica Schaub, coordinator of the Armstrong County response team, said her group rarely handles exotic pets. The volunteer group is more familiar with helping cows, horses or other livestock when they get into troubling spots.

“This emu was definitely a first for us,” Schaub said. “Luckily, Linda knows about these larger birds and was available to help us out.”

Posh said that years ago, she kept emus and ostriches on the farm where she still has chickens, peacocks and a pair of small goats.

Although sometimes kept as pets, farmers usually raise emus for meat or oil, which is used for a topical treatment for minor colds, and arthritis, Posh said.

“This emu has nothing to worry about — we’re buddies,” Posh said about the bird she calls Emu Baby. “I’m afraid I’ll get too attached and have to give him up to his owner. But for now, he’s got a home on my farm.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or [email protected]

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