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AP Florida

Sarasota sheriff seeks wandering emu's owner


Published:   |   Updated: October 23, 2013 at 09:23 PM

Are you missing an emu?

Sarasota County Animal Services has found an emu today that was wandering in the Deer Hollow area, near Fruitville Road and Interstate 75.

The emu, which is the second-largest bird in the world, is at the county shelter.

Animal Services is asking that anyone who may have lost an emu contact them at (941) 861-9501. To get the emu, people must provide proof of ownership.

The sheriff's office got a call reporting that an ostrich or something like it was wandering in the area, according to Wendy Rose, sheriff's office community affairs manager.

Animal Services responded, took custody and put the emu in the county dog kennels, she said, adding the animal seems to be doing fine..

The sheriff has contacted local veterinarians who treat large animals for advice on caring for the emu, she said..

Rose said the office has received several calls from people saying they had seen the emu in certain areas, but they have not received contact from the owner.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the owner would need a Class 3 license if the animal was being kept as a pet or for selling or exhibiting. The personal pet permit is free, but the other is $50 per year. The owner would not need a permit if the emu was being raised for its meat.

Here are some emu facts:

* Height: 4.9 feet to 6.2 feet.

* Weight: 66 pounds to 121 pounds.

* Lifespan: 10 to 20 years in the wild, and up to 35 years in zoos.

The tall emu belongs to a group of flightless running birds known as ratites, which also includes the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, and rhea, all birds found only in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the San Diego Zoo. The animal is common throughout most of mainland Australia.

It is second in size only to the ostrich.

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