Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Man has emu squatting in his back garden

Bill Rattray of Buckley, Washington has a pet he never wanted. But it seems the pet has found an owner it wants. "And I look out the window and it was an emu sitting in my backyard," Rattray said. "It's kind of the oddest thing to happen. I was thinking, 'They don't fly or nothing so how did it get in my backyard?'"
Rattray closed his yard gate and called animal control. But he was told animal control officers don't deal with emus. Rattray is now trying to find out whether the bird had a previous owner. If so, he says, he'd love to reconnect the bird with its rightful owner. "Obviously, if you're missing an emu, you're going to know it's missing," he said. "I don't want it. I don't have the facility for it."Rattray's neighbors say the emu has been prancing up and down the street for about a week, even peering in their windows. The emu appears to be fascinated with fences. On Saturday, it was caught sneaking a peek over the fence at Kathy Fry's yard. Startled, Fry called police. "They said unless he's harming us or causing destruction, there is nothing they can do.
So Rattray called the local feed store as well as some nearby farmers. But no one has claimed the bird. So for now, he's doing his best to take care of the emu, even serving up dandelions to the intruder who has laid claim to his backyard. But he'd rather someone else take it in before his daughter becomes too attached. "She wants to put a saddle on it and ride around. She's a little afraid of it, but it looks like Big Bird to her," said Rattray.
Experts with Northwest Trek, a wildlife park in Eatonville, are helping Rattray explore other options.

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