Rodney the emu sparks five-hour rescue mission after going on the run

An emu called Rodney escaped his enclosure and went on the run, leading to a five-hour rescue mission involving the police and RSPCA.

The 11-month-old bird leapt over the fence at his home in Chedburgh, Suffolk, some time between late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

His owner Jon Cardy, 54, was forced to cut short his first holiday in years to help find him.

He and his wife Laura were taking a break in Northamptonshire when he received a call from their pet sitter at 6.30am saying Rodney had gone missing.

Jon quickly jumped in his car and drove home to look for the bird.

The search mission, which involved both the RSPCA and police, lasted around five hours before Jon saw a message on a community WhatsApp group asking if anyone had lost their bird.

He quickly reached Rodney, who had managed to make it about a mile away from home, and coaxed him to the car with some tempting treats.

Jon said: ‘I put some of his favourite food down on the ground in front of me and he came to me without too much difficulty.

‘He came over and he let me put my arms round his neck and cuddle him and stroke him and I managed to get him into the car to take him home.

‘I think what happened was that there was a storm here on Wednesday night and he got spooked and must have hurdled over one of the fences.’

Jon said Rodney had been in his enclosure on Wednesday evening when the pet sitter ‘shut everything up and put all the animals to bed’.

‘But when she turned up early on Thursday morning he was not, so at some point in the night he went on an adventure.

‘He has on occasion escaped before and gone on adventures, but not quite that far and we’ve found him pretty quickly.

‘This one was a bit more worrying.’

Concerned Rodney’s fencing is too low, Jon has temporarily sent the emu to stay with his neighbours who have a female emu called Stacey.

He said: ‘Rodney is nearly a fully grown boy and they have a fully grown girl. They’re both alone so we have set them up on an emu date and hope they get on well.’

Jon and Laura took in Rodney when he was just two weeks old and he grew up in their kitchen, moving outdoors when he got older.

The couple’s house is full of other animals – including pigs, dogs, geese, a two-legged cat, a tortoise and lots of bunnies.

Many of their pets are used as therapy animals for people who are struggling with their mental health.

Jon is a former consultant in anaesthesia and critical medicine, while his wife Laura used to be an NHS nurse.

He said ‘My wife and I are trying to help people with broken minds. We tame as many of our animals to be pets of therapy or emotional support animals.

‘Between us we have 39 years of experience healing broken bodies but in the past four years or so we’ve switched to healing broken minds.

‘Rodney makes a great therapy animal.

‘If you can get past being completely weirded out by a six-foot bird with a massive beak right in your face, he is very cuddly and likes strokes and is good for the soul.

‘He hasn’t got much between his big ears but he is lovely, very inquisitive, adorable and very friendly.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article