Lone emu, nicknamed Elliot, found roaming Highway 16 in WA

Feb 2, 2024, 5:21 PM

emu washington...

Elliot the Emu at Kitsap County Humane Society (Photo courtesy of Kitsap County Humane Society)

(Photo courtesy of Kitsap County Humane Society)

By chance, are you missing your Emu?

The Kitsap County Humane Society found one of the very large, flightless Australian birds running along Highway 16 at the Burley/Olalla exit at 3 a.m. earlier this week. The emu has a new home at a sanctuary after no owner came forward to claim him.

More on animals in WA: Bill toughening animal abuse punishments passes Washington House

“It did take a bit of moving the emu back and forth to get him tired and once he allowed me to approach him and touch his back, I was able to get a towel over his head,” Animal Control Officer Jenn Dunlap told KIRO Newsradio. “He was terrified. He was very unsure and we did have a lot of cars still going back and forth. Once the towel covered his head, he calmed down.”

The emu has since been given a name, “Elliot,” and the Kitsap County Humane Society stated it was safely captured with the help of the Washington State Patrol, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The humane society held onto it for 72 hours before turning Elliot over to Center Valley Animal Rescue.

“Central Valley does do adoptions,” Dunlap said. “They do hold their animals for just a little bit to make sure they’re adapted before they adopt them out.”

More on WA animal shelters: Skagit County animal sanctuary facing shutdown over permits

Dunlap mentioned some people have claimed they spotted some wild emus running around out in the Gig Harbor, Port Orchard area, but those reports are unconfirmed.

“He’s actually really sweet. The veterinarian staff was able to take a look at him,” Dunlap added. “Our animal care staff, who takes care of all the animals, they were able to get in there with him and he was really really sweet.”

Contributing: Chris Martin, KIRO Newsradio

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Lone emu, nicknamed Elliot, found roaming Highway 16 in WA