HILLSBOROUGH, NC (WRAL) An emu that North Carolina authorities have chased for weeks died Thursday amid efforts to capture it and move it to an animal sanctuary.
The emu, which was given the nickname “Eno,” had evaded authorities since late June, when the free-roaming bird was first reported to Orange County Animal Services. No one claimed ownership of the bird, despite widespread publicity.
Eno’s exploits prompted a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. The bird’s image started appearing on T-shirts as well as on national news.
The emu had even inspired kindergartners at a local school to track the animal, make “wanted” posters and create a song.
“We had hoped for a better outcome,” Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto said in a statement. “We did all we knew to do. We consulted with zoo experts to determine the best course. Unfortunately, she did not respond to our efforts.”
The capture plan, developed in conjunction with a board-certified avian veterinarian and two specialists from the North Carolina Zoo, involved sedating the emu to make it easy to transport. But the bird did not respond to the low dose of sedatives, Marotto said, and eventually suffered “an event” while being restrained and died.