Since last week, local social media has been aflutter about a flightless bird.

An emu is on the loose.

“It was on the Chaska Town Course, it’s been in Cologne. It’s been everywhere,” said Wendy Peiffer, echoing the classic Johnny Cash song.

Wendy and Warren Peiffer, who live just west of Chaska, own the large Australian bird, and ask residents to call them at 612-369-4777 if they spot it in their backyard.

Warren will promptly arrive and attempt to shoot it with a tranquilizer gun. He missed on his last attempt and the bird took off (they can skedaddle up to 35 mph).

The bird, which escaped two months ago, is a female and it doesn’t have a name. “They don’t have names. They’re not dogs,” stressed Wendy. It’s mate is currently wandering the Peiffer’s pasture alone.

Many incorrectly theorized that the bird on the loose is an emu called “Dork” that went missing from Becker. So yes, there are at least two emus on the lam in Minnesota.

It doesn’t respond to calls and it doesn’t know how to find its way home to the Peiffer’s home, where it is kept as a pet.

The best someone could do to catch the bird is rattle a bucket to get its attention and “herd” it into a fenced-in area, Wendy said.

While large -- about 6-foot-2 and 85 pounds, emus aren’t mean, she said.

It got the most attention while wandering the streets of Clover Ridge in Chaska. Last week it was spotted off of Bavaria Road in Victoria, about eight miles away from its home.

The emu has probably been foraging on soybeans, corn and grass, Wendy said.

However, she’s concerned how the bird, which is kept indoors in the winter, will fare. “As soon as the snow falls, I don’t know what’s going to happen to this one.”

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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