Emu found in Leander reunited with owner

A missing emu from Leander has been claimed by its owner, Leander police said.

On Monday, July 1, residents say they found an emu roaming around their neighborhood.

Leander Animal Services said the large bird has been reunited with its owners after getting stuck in someone's backyard.

"He was scared. He was just running around scared," says Leander Animal Services Supervisor Edna Ellis.

"This morning, we received a call regarding an emu running around in the Palmera Ridge neighborhood off of Ronald Reagan in Leander. Upon my arrival, the original caller stated that the emu was no longer running around, it was running around in her backyard."

Ellis says the bird was nearly 3 feet tall, and it took about 15 minutes to capture.

"We did a lot of running around in circles trying to corner him or her into a corner so that I was able to capture him," says Ellis.

She says once the animal was captured, there was a post made on Facebook to locate the owners.

Missing emu found in Leander.

In the post, animal services named the emu Sparkles.

"I chose the name sparkles because of the Fourth of July and fireworks, and I just thought it would be a cute name and somebody would remember it if they saw it. Sooner or later somebody did contact us regarding the post," says Ellis.

According to animal services, the owner says the emu escaped from their yard and his name is Doug. They also have another emu named Limu.

"In this instance, they noticed that the fence had been cut in several areas, and they tried to keep their animal inside the fence, but it is hard when someone keeps continuously cutting it," says Ellis.

Animal services say emus are allowed as pets in Leander, as long as the owner has the required amount of property and when it comes to having pets, make sure they are secured correctly.

"Making sure that their enclosure is secure at all times to keep them safe for one, to keep them from being attacked by a predator, or being hit by a vehicle if they are close to a roadway or being taken because a lot of people were very interested in this emu," says Ellis.

Leander Animal Service says the owners were not fined. But, if a pet is found roaming, they could be fined up to $500.