HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) - The saga of the elusive Orange County emu known as “Eno” has come to a devastating ending, according a news release from Orange County officials.
The emu, who had evaded capture by Orange County Animal Services for months, died Thursday during an attempted capture, officials said. Animal services employees were attempting to capture the large bird and relocate it to an animal sanctuary.
“We had hoped for a better outcome,” said Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto, whose office had fed and cared for the bird for weeks and consulted with outside experts to formulate a plan for its capture. “We did all we knew to do. We consulted with zoo experts to determine the best course. Unfortunately, she did not respond to our efforts.”
The bird died while being restrained as part of the capture attempt, officials said.
According to Marotto, “The plan, developed in conjunction with a board-certified avian veterinarian and two specialists from the N.C. Zoo, who were present throughout the attempt, involved sedating the bird to make it easy to transport it. The bird did not respond to the low dose of sedatives” and “suffered an event while being restrained and died.”
Attempts were made to revive Eno using CPR, but those attempts failed.
“Everyone is devastated,” Marotto said.
According to the release, the decision to capture and relocate the bird was made for both the animal’s welfare and also for the safety of the community.
“We were concerned it could come out on the roadway and cause an accident or be injured itself, and we were also concerned with the opening of hunting season,” Marotto said. “We didn’t feel leaving it alone was a viable option.”
Eno was first seen on the loose in June. No one has claimed ownership of the bird.