Deputy chase in county a case of fowl play

Published 12:03 am Saturday, December 29, 2012

NATCHEZ — Somewhere out there, the biggest potential jailbird an Adams County sheriff’s deputy never caught is still lurking.

It’s no secret Adams County has a problem with loose livestock wandering into the roads in some areas, and that sheriff’s deputies sometimes end up chasing animals until one of the county’s freelance wranglers can come and pick it up.

But Thursday, deputies ran into a problem for which they had no wrangler, and it was a fowl problem, indeed — an adult emu.

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Emus are large flightless birds that can reach up to six feet in height and have an appearance similar to an ostrich.

While most deputies who have been on the roads for long have some experience keeping cows out of the roadway, Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said the large bird presented them with a new problem.

“They didn’t know how to catch it — do they rope it, do they corral it, does it bite?” he said.

The call came in at 4:39 p.m. that an emu was loose near U.S. 84 east, and after the deputies spent some time chasing it, the bird ran into the woods. As far anyone knows, it is somewhere between Washington and the Jefferson County line, Mayfield said.

While a resident in the area does keep emus, he told the sheriff’s office it wasn’t one of his birds, Mayfield said.

And even though the entire affair was unusual, the sheriff said it is all part of the job.

“It’s just another day in the life of a deputy sheriff,” he said. “One minute you are facing down the barrel of a gun, then the next you are chasing a big bird.”