See Eno run: Emu sightings grow as bird outraces authorities in Hillsborough

Durham Schopfer heard keys jingling, stepped outside the barn and saw a handful of Animal Control officers running after something at Harmony Farm in Hillsborough.

“What are y’all chasing?” he asked.

“An emu,” said one of the officers.

“The famous one?” Schopfer asked.

He joined them on the chase for about an hour Thursday morning, recording it with his phone, before they gave up.

The bird was too fast and got away.

But they aren’t the only ones following the big bird, which was also spotted Thursday west of Carrboro and jumping on a car near Hillsborough on Wednesday.

The 5-foot, 100-pound bird has dodged authorities in Orange County for over a month.

After a Twitter account, @OCEmu1, was made for the emu last week, a Facebook account appeared Wednesday morning named “Eno Emu.”

Along with the account — which gained almost 900 Facebook friends in a day — came a Facebook event: “Eno Emu Search Party” this weekend.

Over 80 people have listed themselves as interested, some suggesting what snacks and drinks to bring.

Even the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has gotten in on it.

Emu at Dodsons Crossroads-John Murray (2).jpg
Rogue Orange County emu photographed by John Murray on August 1, 2019. The bird has been on the loose in the area for over a month. John Murray

While the sightings ramp up, Orange County Animal Services urges residents to stay away from the bird unless they can safely fence it in.

If you see the emu, call:

Orange County Animal Services: 919-942-7387

Chatham County Animal Services: 919-542-7203

Staff writer Tammy Grubb contributed to this story.

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Trent Brown covers the Town of Cary and other odds and ends. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 and is a Collegiate Network fellow.