After nearly a week on the run, Bill Clinton, a local pet emu, was caught by Carrboro Animal Control last week and died after reportedly injuring itself during capture.
Former director of the Orange County Animal Shelter Pat Sanford owned the emu. Sanford has about 30 birds, including another emu named Janet Reno.
â€œHe had a partner, Janet, and she really misses him,â€ Sanford said. â€œHe was really neat.â€
Bill Clinton fled from his pen near Orange Grove Road on a Saturday and was spotted the following Thursday in Carrboro.
Captain J.G. Booker of the Carrboro Police Department said the animal control officer responded to a call about the emu and found the bird near Smith Level Road in Carrboro. Booker said two Carrboro police officers and one Chapel Hill police officer assisted the animal control officer in capturing the emu.
According to Booker, the emu was startled. â€œThe emu starts jumping, kicking and thrashing around,â€ he said. â€œApparently it did injury to itself, because it kind of collapsed.â€
Booker said the animal control officer sustained an injury to his elbow while trying to contain the emu, which was about 125 pounds and 6 feet tall.
The police brought Bill Clinton to the Orange County Animal Shelter, where he later died.
Initial news reports said the animal shelter reported the emu to have been tasered or tranquilized. However, Booker said the officers on the scene did not use their taser guns or tranquilizers.
In addition, the Carrboro Police Department tested all of its tasers to determine their most recent use, which proved to be for a test on May 13, according to Booker.
Shelter officials declined to comment.
â€” Susan Dickson