By Andrea Romano
August 02, 2019
Paul Carpenter/Getty Images

There’s a stealthy bandit on the loose in North Carolina. It’s got skinny legs, a tiny, pointy head, and no arms.

It’s an emu. And it’s currently at large.

According to CNN, an emu that locals have named Eno (maybe for Brian Eno, but that is unclear since we’re not sure what emus have to do with ambient rock) has been on the loose in Orange and Chatham counties for at least five weeks.

Tenille Fox, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Animal Services, told CNN the emu was first spotted at the end of June but by the time staff was able to get to the location, the bird had already bolted.

Emus, on average, weigh about 120 pounds and stand between five and six feet tall, according to CNN. The birds are flightless since their small wings can’t get their large bodies off the ground. However, they’re still amazingly fast, running at speeds up to 30 miles an hour. Even though they’re native to Australia, there are a number of emu farms in North Carolina that it might belong to, CNN reported.

The most recent spotting was on Tuesday near the town of Hillsborough. Again, the emu had absconded by the time officials arrived to catch it. Over the course of several weeks, it has been seen on busy roadways, even jumping on car roofs to get away from people.

“I mean it’s almost like you start pulling for the bird because if somebody who hasn’t really done a whole lot of wrong is being chased by the cops, I’m probably going to side with the person running,” witness Marcus Cheek told CBS.

Some people have even managed to get videos of the bird fleeing the scene. Its infamous status has inspired people to start a Facebook page dedicated to the bird as well.

The awkward birds are quite skittish, which is part of the reason it can be hard to catch them. Fox told CNN they have reason to believe the bird is especially stressed after being on the run.

The Orange County government Twitter account even posted a “Wanted” poster for Eno on social media.

Looks like he (or she) might become a jailbird very soon.

Fox told CNN the bird appears to be traveling north and anyone who spots it should keep their distance. Emus are not aggressive, but since they are easily scared off, it’s best not to approach.

If you do see Eno, it’s best to call your local animal control so the situation can be safely handled.

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