WATCH: Houston Police Chase Down Emu on the Loose

by Caitlin Berard

When Houston resident Yvette Fleming left work on Thursday evening, she expected to see some heavy traffic, maybe even an unruly driver or two pulled over by police. What she didn’t expect to see was an emu running through the parking lot, police hot on its literal tail. Because…who would?

Hilariously, that’s exactly the scene she stumbled upon after a long day at the office. And to make the incident even better, she recorded the entire thing for the rest of us to enjoy.

Sitting in her car in the parking lot, Yvette Fleming was stunned to see what she thought to be an ostrich running toward her. It then turned the corner, picking up speed as it attempted to evade the two police cars in pursuit of the animal.

“Y’all see this ostrich? Somebody done lost they ostrich,” said an incredulous Yvette Fleming in her video recording of what turned out to be an emu. “Uh oh. He’s taking off running. He’s moving now. What on Earth… Who in the world…”

According to the Houston Police Department, they were called to the scene to respond to a traffic hazard. When they arrived, they found an emu on the loose in the 300 block of North Sam Houston Parkway East.

Now, emus are far from your average pet. However, they’re not illegal to own in Texas. So when the game warden finally caught the escaped bird, they simply returned it to its owner.

Though an odd sight to behold, the HPD is no stranger to unusual animals on the loose in their city. Over the years, Houston police have encountered everything from tigers to otters to groups of meandering cows in search of a shady spot to relax.

Does an Emu Make a Good Pet?

So, at this point, you might be thinking, an emu as a pet? Aren’t emus huge? And the answer is yes.

Emus are among the largest birds in the world, reaching up to six feet in height and over 100 pounds in weight. They can also sprint at 30 MPH and jump up to 7 feet in the air, making them virtually impossible to catch on foot, should your pet emu ever escape.

All that said, they’re not the worst choice of pet. Certainly a far better choice than, say, an emotional support alligator. If raised from a chick, an emu will imprint on its owner, allowing the bird and its human to form a bond similar to that of any other house pet.

Once that bond is formed, an emu will be affectionate and gentle with its owner. Like any animal, however, it can become aggressive if provoked. And unlike a dog or cat, emus require a great deal of space to remain happy and healthy.