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Emu goes up for adoption at shelter on Monday

Posted: August 2, 2013 2:12 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2013 2:12 p.m.

Castaic Animal Shelter employee Tammy Somers gets a hug from an adult emu that was found running loose in Acton on July 21. The emu, whose gender is unknown, has been held for owner retrieval and will be up for adoption Monday if they owner doesn't claim it. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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Unless its proper owner comes forward before Monday, the Castaic Animal Shelter will have an unusual denizen to offer for adoption: an emu.

The stray giant bird with the comical face was found wandering loose July 21 by an Acton property owner who called the shelter to come pick it up. Doing so required a trailer, said shelter spokeswoman Tammy Somers.

Emus, the second largest birds in the world behind their relatives, ostriches, are native to Australia but are sometimes raised on ranches in California. The flightless bird can stand up to 6 feet 6 inches tall.

The shelter’s temporary resident with the unruly feathered topknot is “sweet and inquisitive and likes to peck at shiny objects,” Somers said.

“She’s very affectionate with specific people,” she added.

Somers is one of those specific people, she admitted. As to the gender-specific pronoun “she,” Somers says the shelter isn’t certain of the big bird’s gender but it looks like a female to her.

Somers said it seemed odd the emu wasn’t claimed by its rightful owner. But not just anyone can adopt the friendly fowl — a backyard in Valencia definitely won’t do.

The emu can be placed only with a resident who lives in an area zoned for livestock and with a yard properly fenced. Interested parties should call the shelter for more details.

The emu find is unusual, Somers said — the last time she saw one at the shelter was six years ago. But it’s not the most unusual critter to appear at the Castaic facility.

That was a badger, she said. “They’re strange looking.”




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