One might say Lucy has got some explaining to do, after being found on the Vancouver Island University campus.
Lucy, a 16-year-old pet emu, escaped from his pen on a property on Nanaimo River Road, located south of Nanaimo, Sunday.
Police and other agencies had joined in the effort to capture the bird and return it home after it was spotted in Colliery Dam Park Tuesday.
“It’s name is Lucy and it got away two days ago,” said Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman. “It was spotted [Tuesday] in Colliery Dam area and they’re very difficult to catch.”
Tim Genner, the bird’s owner, has raised it from a chick.
“It’s name is Lucy, yes, and it’s a boy, but we didn’t find out until three years later,” Genner said.
Lucy lives on a one-hectare section of Genner’s property, but got free Monday when someone accidentally left a gate open.
Genner said the bird is tame and won’t hurt anyone, but if encountered, it’s not a good idea to try and grab the bird because of its weight and strength.
“She’s 150 pounds and she doesn’t like people trying to tackle her,” said Genner, who out of habit still refers to the bird as female. “It’s way too big to be handled unless you know what you’re doing.”
Genner said the bird likes people, which could be why it appears to be heading into town.
Lucy also likes grapes and chicken layer pellets should anyone be interested in potentially attracting and keeping the bird nearby until Genner can come and get it.
Lucy also apparently likes watching TV and used to watch Seinfeld episodes with its emu partner Kramer, named for one of the show’s characters, before it died.
“We raised them both in our living room and they watched Seinfeld when they were growing up,” Genner said. “That’s were Kramer got his name because his hair style was exactly like Kramer’s.”
Since Kramer’s death, Lucy has struck up a tight bond with Mojo, a one-year-old deer that has also become a family pet.
“They’re inseparable now,” Genner said.
Genner describes Lucy as a bit of an escape artist. The last time the bird got loose was about two years ago, but it didn’t get too far.
“We got a call about 10 o’clock at night from a really nice little old lady who said, ‘Have you lost an emu?’ and I said, ‘Yes,’ and she said, ‘Well, he’s watching my TV through the window,” Genner said. “It gets more and more bizarre, but this is what happens when you raise animals from eggs. They get humanized.”