Escaped emu in Tampa gets attacked by dogs - WFLA News Channel 8

Escaped emu in Tampa gets attacked by dogs

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A stray emu injured in an attack by dogs is getting a second chance.  Robert Christie noticed the bird in his northeast Hillsborough County backyard around 10:00 Tuesday morning and immediately started looking for help.

"I can't see any animal suffering. That just goes against everybody's grain," Christie said. "Evidently - it's like a pack mentality. When {dogs} ... corner something like that - they just want to tear something up."  Deputies with the Hillsborough Co. Sheriff's Office Agricultural Crimes Unit and a volunteer with the Audubon Society carefully surrounded the emu with a fence and led it into the back of a cattle trailer.

"We get a lot of calls for loose horses, loose cows ... a lot of other types of livestock," said Sgt. Ed Rayburn. "But once every 3 or 4 years {we'll} get a bird like this ... like an emu."  Deputies weren't sure where the bird came from.  "They're hard to keep so not a lot of people have them," Rayburn said. "Typically most animals we see get out is just an issue of a fence being improperly maintained in most cases."

Rescuers took the emu to Busch Gardens, where veterinarians started treatment immediately Tuesday afternoon. Its back was severely injured and Reinier Munguia, of the Audubon Society, suspected it could have internal bleeding.  "This is something that could happen anytime there's an attack from wildlife or any other animals," Munguia said.  Chris said the dogs, a black and white one about the size of a Great Dane and a Collie/Shepherd mix, were strays in the neighborhood.

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