Escaped emu on the loose in Dumfries and Galloway

The 4ft bird escaped through a hole in the fence at Burnfoot Care Home in Ecclefechan. Picture: Mathias Appel/Flickr
The 4ft bird escaped through a hole in the fence at Burnfoot Care Home in Ecclefechan. Picture: Mathias Appel/Flickr
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An emu has been on the run for more than 24-hours after escaping during a visit to a care home in Dumfries and Galloway.

The male bird, which stands 4ft tall, was brought to visit elderly residents, along with a female emu.

But since it escaped through a hole in the fence at Burnfoot Care Home in Ecclefechan, Dumfries and Galloway yesterday, there have been no sightings of it.

The emu vanished at 3pm, and as it can run at speeds of 35mph, it could have covered a wide expanse of land.

Dennis Agnew, 52, a groundsman at the care home, brought the emus to visit as it is believed visits from animals help dementia sufferers.

Mr Agnew said: “I bought two emus, male and female, a couple of days ago and I brought them to the home.

“But yesterday one disappeared.

“As it is 4ft high, you can’t miss the thing - it’s a big grey bird.

“I went through the woods and I still can’t find it.

“The Burnfoot Care Home is an old folks home and the animals help them with their dementia.

“It’s there somewhere, I just don’t know where.

“It’s a big bird but they are really quick, they can run at about 35mph.

“It must have gone through a hole in the fence.

“I just need someone to phone and tell me where it is and I’ll get it.”

The emu is the second-largest living bird by height, after its relative, the ostrich.

They can grow up to 2m tall and can live between ten and 20 years in the wild.

Mr Agnew added: “I’ve had to take the female one back to the farm because it looks unsettled.”

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