Escaped emu leads police on wild, 20-mile chase in Tennessee town: video

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April 14, 2023 | 10:38 p.m


MeeMoo, the emu sure can move.

A pet emu led police on a wild, 20-mile chase through a Tennessee town Wednesday — at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour — only to escape its enclosure again Thursday.

Roane County resident Harry McKinney said one of his family’s two emus, MeeMoo, escaped from their farm after being spooked by workers cutting behind his home.

The big bird jumped its 7-foot fence and took off running through the town of Harriman.

McKinney tried to follow MeeMoo, but soon lost sight of the flightless bird, he told WATE.

He posted on social media about his missing Emu, and his inbox was soon flooded with messages from residents who had spotted the bird running through their neighborhood.

The Harriman Police Department stepped in after McKinney relayed the information he had received about MeeMoo’s last location. The ensuing freak police chase quickly became a spectacle for the entire city.

MeeMoo the emu has become a local celebrity after leading police in Harriman, Tennessee on a 20-mile chase.
Harry McKinney / Facebook

Steven McDaniel captured video of four police cars chasing the bird.

“Just police cars, blue lights on, going right by my house at about three miles an hour,” McDaniel told WATE. “Then one of the cops pulled up next door and talked to the guy next door and the guy just started like … laughing hysterically, I could hear it from my house.”

McDaniel said the chase attracted the attention of customers at a nearby restaurant, who came outside to watch. He said at one point the emu appeared to be going 20 miles per hour.

Police told McKinney they clocked the emu running at 40 miles per hour.
Harry McKinney / Facebook

According to McKinney, Harriman police told him officers estimated MeeMoo’s speed at 40 miles per hour.

McKinney was able to retrieve MeeMoo from a Victorian house in Roane County and loaded it into a truck with the help of a “great friend,” he posted on Facebook.

“We were terrified that he was going to get hit by a car and someone was going to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart, that he was going to hurt himself in the chase,” he told WATE.

The large bird jumped a 7-foot fence after being spooked by loggers working behind McKinney’s farm.
Harry McKinney / Facebook

In another Facebook post Thursday, McKinney said MeeMoo the emu escaped the reinforced fence, but he returned home after an hour.

McKinney has since raised the fence to 9 feet, he said.

He said he thought the viral chase was a good bit of news for the community.

MeeMoo returned safely to his owners after his second escape on Thursday.
Harry McKinney / Facebook

“There were a lot of comments about how, how funny it was and, you know, everybody wants to meet the emu now … a few minutes of the life that was … it was worth just shooting a little video, you know,” McDaniel said.

Roan Community College jokingly offered the already famous bird a job.

“If MeeMoo is looking for a job as a college mascot, please have him contact us. #RoaneStateEmus,” the college tweeted.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, emus are the largest bird in the world after their cousin, the ostrich, typically measuring about 5 feet 8 and weighing about 110 to 130 pounds.




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