Harriman, Tennessee police had an unforgettable pursuit recently, thanks to an unexpected culprit: an emu named MeeMoo.
The chase unfolded as MeeMoo fled from his enclosure after being startled by a logging crew, scaling a seven-foot fence and leading police on a slow-paced pursuit through town.
Despite owner Harry McKinney’s attempts to catch up with his speedy bird, he lost sight of MeeMoo and turned to social media for help. McKinney’s community responded with sightings and videos, and law enforcement joined in the search for the elusive emu.
“Immediately we were flooded with private messages with, you know, ‘Hey, your emu is in my backyard,’ and then we got all of these videos,” McKinney says.
During the chase, MeeMoo reportedly reached speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, and police pursued him for approximately 20 miles.
At one point, MeeMoo had four police cars in pursuit. Harry McKinney, MeeMoo’s owner, was concerned for the bird’s safety, worrying that he could be hit by a car or harmed by a tranquilizer dart.
To keep tabs on MeeMoo’s movements, McKinney listened to updates from police dispatch radio.
“We were terrified that he would get hit by a car and somebody would hit him with a tranquilizer dart, that he would hurt himself in the chase.”
Fortunately, McKinney managed to capture MeeMoo in a backyard located in Roane County. After the chase was over, he took a photo with MeeMoo, and they both appeared to be happy.
This was a great spectacle for the residents of Harriman, and one person commented on Facebook that it was probably the longest police chase in the town’s history.
McKinney expressed his gratitude for the community’s help and support in returning MeeMoo home safely. To prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, MeeMoo’s fence will soon be raised by 2 feet.
The pursuit of MeeMoo the emu may have caused chaos in Harriman, Tennessee, but it also brought the community together. This unforgettable experience left residents with a story to tell for years to come and reinforced the power of community support in times of need.