Runaway emu spotted wandering along busy Hong Kong road: 'Poor thing'

The discovery was made thousands of kilometres away from its natural habitat in Australia.

Emu running on road in Hong Kong.
The emu was spotted running along on busy road in Hong Kong. Source: Jam Press

A lone emu has been spotted running along a motorway, thousands of kilometres away from its natural habitat in Australia. A sight that baffled Hong Kong locals and people on social media.

It comes as a wallaby hopping down a regional road was sighted by locals in England's south this week, with emu sightings in the US also baffling authorities in the past.

The recent sighting was reported to authorities by passersby claiming they had seen the bird wandering along the roads in Tin Shui Wai, a northwestern territory in Hong Kong, on Saturday. However, when police arrived they were unable to locate the interloper.

Emus are the second-largest living bird species in the world, surpassed only by the ostrich. They are native to Australia, where they are recognised as one of the country’s national symbols.

"Many facilities around the world hold Australian wildlife, bred from animals that were acquired before Australian strict export controls were put in place," a spokesperson for the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water previously told Yahoo News Australia.

For over three decades, Australia has had in place strict legislation regulating the export of native wildlife, including kangaroos and emus.

While emus are not considered endangered, importing them into Hong Kong for captivity requires a permit issued by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The escapee emu was eventually found and caught by officials, who say it is reputedly owned by a private farm in Lau Fau Shan.

Emu running along busy road in Hong Kong.
According to officials, it likely escaped from a private farm. Source: Jam Press

A clip of the big bird, which had reportedly escaped from a private farm, has also been uploaded to Facebook, shocking social media media users

In the video, the animal can be seen sprinting up the motorway, unbothered by passing vehicles. Despite cars racing past and one attempting to stop, the bird continued its journey.

"I think it was a spy in disguise," one person joked. "Reminds me of roadrunner," another said.

However, some thought it was "sad". "Poor thing, scared and lost," said one. "Poor animal," said another.

with Jam Press

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