It’s a sad day in the emu community today as the news of beloved pet Richard the emu’s death has rattled the outdoors world.
If you are like me, you had no idea that emus could be kept as pets, but that’s not important right now. The sole focus and spotlight should be on how the whole thing went down, and the way that this emu met its demise is truly one of the more sad and unnecessary “ways to go” you’ll ever see.
Richard the emu, who was actually a female (they didn’t change the name after Richard laid an egg), passed away after police officers responded to a “loose emu” call from a neighbor.
The big bird had escaped its regular home and was wandering around in the neighborhood, though those that saw the emu said that it was calm and non-aggressive as it traversed the desert landscape around the neighborhood.
Officers responded to the scene and attempted to contain the emu, but weren’t properly trained to do so. It is unclear why they chose not to call animal control to help with the situation.
Michael Davis was one of the people who witnessed the police response to the emu, and decided to record the incident, which ended up documenting the bird’s death.
Davis spoke to 12 News about what he saw, and how the officers were trying to corral the emu:
“They had one officer through the car on the other side holding the rope and pulling on it while the other officer was trying to force it into the backseat of the car.”
Davis and those who had also stopped to watch the officers try to get the big bird into the back of the car quickly became worried about how the first responders were handling the situation.
“He’s got his hands around its neck and they’ve got a rope around its neck at the same time. Everyone that was out here with me witnessing it asked ‘is it breathing? are you choking it?'”
The witnesses were rightfully worried, because after an intense struggle, the emu became limp and fell to the ground. Officers in the video can he heard and seen checking the bird’s pupils, and eventually realizing that they accidentally killed Richard the emu.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office put out an incident report, which stated:
“Deputies located the emu, and while corralling the emu, it collapsed and died.”
Seems like they left out a couple of important details that might have caused Richard to collapse and die…
A local news report on the incident, which includes eye-witness video that was captured, can be seen below: