Escaped Emu Leads Police On 20-Mile Chase In Tennessee

MeeMoo the emu escaped the enclosure he shares with his wife MeeMee.

Police chases aren’t usually a laughing matter, unless, of course, they involve an escaped emu.

Last week MeeMoo the emu led police in Harriman, Tennessee, on a hilarious chase that captured the hearts of the nation.

MeeMoo Emu

Harry McKinney

Harry McKinney, MeeMoo's owner, told USA Today that the six-foot bird was "scared to death" by the sound of loggers clearing a ridge near the family’s 40-acre farm. At 9:45 a.m on Wednesday April 12, the commotion frightened MeeMoo to the point that he hopped the seven-foot fence around his enclosure and began running at full speed (about 40 miles per hour) from the property. Knowing he couldn’t catch him on foot, McKinney said he got in his truck and gave chase.

Before long, a policeman and a volunteer firefighter had joined in the pursuit, but they lost him around noon. 

"He took off down the highway," McKinney told the newspaper. "I got on the highway and started to follow him but he was moving so fast that he actually lost me."

It was around 2 p.m. that the 911 calls started flooding in. Community members lined the streets to get footage of the bizarre scene as MeeMoo’s adventure reached more populated areas.

Police were finally able to surround the rogue emu around 3 p.m. when he took a break near a house in Harriman's historic district. An hour later, McKinney arrived to quite a scene. “Police had a Victorian home surrounded!” he recalled to Southern Living.

"I called out to MeeMoo and he recognized me," he said. "The only thing I had in the truck was a dog leash, so I turned into like a little slip lead and put it over his neck and I walked him over to the truck."

McKinney says the smiling selfie they took in the truck is evidence of how much fun MeeToo had being followed around by everyone in town.

All told, the six-year-old emu was on the run for eight hours and covered a total of 20 miles. 

Since the adventure, McKinney has added a few more feet to the enclosure MeeMoo shares with his wife MeeMee.

"The loggers took a couple of days off because of the story but they're logging again today and he's pretty agitated, but overall, he's doing great," he told USA Today on Tuesday.

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