Chemainus emu recovering after being tased by police

Chemainus emu recovering after being tased by police
WatchRCMP say it was unusual for them to use a conducted energy weapon to control an emu. Kendall Hanson reports.

A Chemainus emu that got loose and went for a run on a busy road seems to be recovering, after police tasered him.

The emu, named Parker, got loose Tuesday morning before sustaining 50 thousand volts from an RCMP conducted energy weapon — luckily  he didn’t end up as a roasted bird.

“I thought it was hilarious. I started laughing. I thought to got to be kidding,” said Lynda Dyke, a Chemainus resident now caring for Parker until the bird’s owner returns home.

Yesterday morning a police officer was driving down Chemainus road when he came across Parker.

“It was causing a little bit of traffic chaos to passing motorists so the officer and other responding officers decided to block traffic in both directions,” said Cst. Amron Christensen of Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP.

A neighbour who came across the scene, and knows Parker, suspects the Chemainus emu just wanted to be as free as a bird.

“Must have jumped over a fence. It’s breeding season so they’re all excited,” said Jim Dyke.

“And I realized it was an emu and I was like what is going on around here?” said Ashley Tiefert, who shot video of police following the emu.

Eventually, with input from Animal Control Services, the officers corralled the bird in a ditch where they used a taser on it. It allowed them to tie up the emu and move it to this neighbours barn.

“As soon as we untied him he jumped up,” recounted Jim Dyke.

“It’s not common to come across an emu in our travels as police officers and it’s definitely not common to use a conducted energy weapon to control one,” said Christensen.

This isn’t the first time an emu has lead authorities on a chase on Vancouver Island.

In March 2015 Lucy the emu travelled more than 20 kilometres, as the crow flies, and evaded capture for six days before being brought home by her owner.

In Parker’s case, it turns out this isn’t the first time he’s taken flight.

“Seventeen, 18 years ago he was running through our field. Our husband and son captured him and put him in our barn so he’s been here before,” said Lynda Dyke.

Police say Parker’s outcome was as positive — considering this was one situation they’ve never trained for.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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