Forget that giant carnivorous chicken dinosaur unearthed in the US ... there's an emu roaming the streets of Canada's Vancouver Island!

Emu Vancouver 20 03 2014
Image: CTV Vancouver/Twitter

According to news reports, the large flightless bird (who's male but answers to the name Lucy) escaped an enclosure at his owners’ farm earlier this week – and given an emu's 70kmph sprinting skills, recapturing the avian runaway is proving tricky. Since then, he's been spotted several times roaming the city streets of Nanaimo.

Lucy's owner told CTV Vancouver:

"My concerns are not so much for the public but for the bird: that it may get hit by a car, logging truck or somebody just mistaking it for something that might hurt them, which it won’t do." 

Should you be in the area and fancy some emu-wrangling, you can try luring Lucy with his favourite snack: grapes. And you don't need to fear those deadly emu claws (it's said an emu's clawed appendages are strong enough to rip through wire fences). Lucy, whose owner considers him a pet, says the bird was declawed at birth "because emus tend to disembowel each other at mating season." 

* Lucy the emu is back home after being cornered near the Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University. She clearly wanted to keep roaming free, though – reports say getting the 70kg bird to cooperate took some major wrestling.  

Top header image: William Warby, Flickr