Are you my owner? Emus spotted in Leander neighborhood


LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — A Leander couple is searching for the owner of an injured emu they rescued after it was spotted in their neighborhood near RM 1431 and Big Sandy Creek.

Hailey and Ross Copland said their tiny neighborhood’s email chain burst with activity around Thanksgiving when several neighbors chimed in that five or six emus had been spotted nearby. The Coplands initially didn’t think much of it, until Ross was with their two children at their neighbor’s house and spotted an emu near the creek.

“[Ross] calls me and he’s like, ‘the emu is over here!'” Hailey recounted. “There’re actually an emu. So sure enough, we went down there.”

Up close, the emu had several small bites and injuries. Ross and Hailey opted to try and corral the animal and guide it back to their farm, where they could safely enclose the animal until they got in contact with its owner.

“We looked up on Google real quick, ‘how do you hold an emu,’ because every bird or animal….likes to be held in a different way where they’re chill,” Ross said. “Somehow I managed to get around the emu and pick her up and she was real chill. She fell back in my arms and it’s exactly how she likes it — she puts her head down and is just sort of relaxing.”

Next came the mile-long stretch from their neighbor’s house to the Copland’s home, with a little bit of “leapfrog” involved, Ross said.

“The funniest thing is she won’t go on the road or cross over driveways, so every time we got co to a driveway, she would get real skittish,” Ross said. “So then I’d have to pick her up, get her over the driveway, and then herd her to the next driveway-type thing. So there was this leapfrog for a mile.”

The emu is now recuperating at the couple’s flower farm, delighted by the company of their backyard sheep. Now, the two are focused on trying to reunite the animal with its owners, with the Coplands adding none of their neighbors in their small subdivision own any emus.

The two have posted on Nextdoor to try and track down any clues on the emu’s possible owners. Williamson County officials confirmed their animal control unit hasn’t received any reports of missing emus or responded to loose emus, while the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department added emus aren’t commonly found in any parts of the state.

If the Coplands don’t hear back from anyone, they said they’ll need to rehome her somewhere with other emus so she can safely reintegrate back with some friends.

“We want to get the bird back to its owner,” Hailey said. “If we can’t find the owner, just getting it to a safe environment, because I don’t think it’s going to want to live with sheep the whole rest of its life.”

Anyone with information on who the emu might belong to can message the Coplands on their farm’s Instagram page, Angel Valley Farm. More footage of the emu is available here.

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