There was this eye-catching headline on page one of yesterday's newspaper.
It said, "Police Gun Down Errant Emu."
I thought that was pretty funny until I read the piece and found myself literally torn between laughter, disbelief and sadness. Apparently this Emu-from-nowehere was found pecking on someone's window on a road close to where I live. People had called the police department earlier reporting different geographical sightings of this runaway bird.
Since an angry and cornered Emu can be dangerous, the Carbondale police decided to shoot it dead, as they were concerned for the safety of the public and also couldnt find the owner of the bird. They shot it 5 times and it was still on its feet. Three rifle shots later the bird finally took its last breath.
Reporter Andrea Hahn, started the story in a memorable fashion: "When an emu in Carbondale failed to surrender to police Wednesday, officers were given no choice but to put the large bird down," was how she put it.
I could literally imagine the poor Emu turning around and walking towards the police head bowed and subdued, willing to surrender! If it had, the bird would have surely lived. I've always liked emus - they look so quaint and sweet, as if they just arrived from another century. The report did disturb me, since no one likes to hear about a terrified bird being shot down ruthlessly. But then if the bird was on a crowded residential road, posing a possible threat to people, something had to be done about it.
Today's newspaper carried more details about why the police couldnt have used a tranquilizer gun insetad of a regular gun. You can read up on that here.