Pet emu runs alongside cars on Delhi’s Ring Road, leads cops on wild chase
Commuters on the busy Ring Road near Red Fort spotted a full-grown emu bird running beside their vehicles on Tuesday afternoon.
When the police control room nearby started getting calls reporting the large bird running amok, staff arrived at the scene and restrained it after a 10-minute struggle, police said.
The bird turned out to be owned by a man named Shakir, who works at an “akhara” in Shanti Van, said Nupur Prasad, deputy commissioner of police (north). “Shakir had purchased the bird from Ghazipur Mandi six months ago and had been rearing it as a pet,” said the DCP.
She said the Delhi government’s wildlife department was informed and its officials visited the Lal Quila police post to check on the bird. “The emu was not hurt, but it has been sent to a veterinary hospital in west Delhi’s Rajouri Garden for a check-up,” said the DCP.
Wildlife officials told the police that the bird did not fall under the category of protected species. No offence was made out against its owner, said DCP Prasad.
Police said the bird was spotted around 1.30pm on Tuesday. The PCR personnel, who were the first to approach the emu, said the bird appeared panicked. They said they chased it down and tied its leg to prevent it from running away.
Since emus are generally endemic to Australia and are not common in Delhi, the police officers did not know how to deal with it. They offered it water from their PCR van before taking it to the Lal Quila police post.
“Initially, we thought it had escaped from the zoo. But zoo officials denied any such incident. When we made local enquiries, we learnt of its owner,” said another police officer.
The high population of emus in Australia means they are classified as the least-concern species, which means they don’t fall in the threatened category. A large number of these birds are also farmed in many parts of India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Telangana.