Lusty emu caught strolling on State Road A1A in Cape Canaveral

Published On: Oct 03 2012 12:30:15 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2012 01:59:46 PM EDT

Florida Today

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -

A lusty emu escaped from its Cape Canaveral yard Wednesday morning, running amok on State Road A1A before being apprehended by his owner.

The 4-year-old emu, named Taco, lives on Paul Eaton's property on Lincoln Avenue. Taco jumped a 4-foot fence, however, and made his way a few blocks over to State Road A1A.

"It's mating season," Eaton told Local 6 News partner Florida Today. "He felt it was time to move closer to the females, and he hopped the fence."

Brevard County sheriff's deputies got a call at 7 a.m. reporting the bird on the highway near 7-Eleven. The 5-foot tall beast weaved through traffic, backing up cars as deputies tried to catch the flightless bird.

"It was walking toward folks, which is a major concern," said BCSO Lt. Alex Herrera.

The emu, which had its claws removed, still posed a risk that it would harm people or be hit by a car on the 45 mph highway, he said.

"That's going to go right through a windshield," he said, referring to a potential crash.

Deputies found Eaton on the beach and he captured the emu after throwing a T-shirt over the bird's small head.  He then placed Taco into a truck.

Safe at home later in the day, Taco sat in the corner of the foliage-covered yard all alone following his unsuccessful plan to seek a mate.

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