Escaped Emu in Tennessee Leads Cops on 20-Mile Slow-Speed Chase and Wins the Internet | “Meemoo Did Nothing Wrong!
Watching birds run fast can send us into fits of laughter and watching policemen chase them can make us roar louder. The city of Harriman, Tennessee experienced a one-of-a-kind community-wide uproar on April 12, 2023 when a local man's pet emu escaped, sparking a slow-speed police chase to catch the massive bird. Steven McDaniel posted a video on YouTube showing MeeMoo sprinting down the middle of a road with three Harriman police cars following close behind. He estimated the slow-speed chase was moving at about 20 mph. He spotted the chase while was going to take his dog for a car ride.
MeeMoo did nothing wrong! @ComfortablySmug https://t.co/UTlGwTmOSX— Just Donna (@Crypsis12) April 17, 2023
MeeMoo was spooked by logging near the home and jumped over the property's 7-foot fence, according to Harry McKinney, whose family keeps two emus, MeeMoo and MeeMee, at their Roane County home. McKinney turned to social media for assistance and Harriman residents quickly began sending him videos of the large Australian bird touring the town – with the police behind, according to ABC. McKinney described raising the emu along with sheep, turkeys, ducks and other animals on his 40-acre farm as a joy, at least when MeeMoo stays in his enclosure.
"People were calling in that it was in their yard and the first part of the morning, officers would go check and wouldn't see him," Harriman police chief Baron Tapp said. "And then somebody else would call and say, 'Hey, the Emu is in my yard now' or 'It's going over here over there.' He just would hold its feathers like hold its wings straight out and come at you like 'oh gosh, did it get mad or what.'" "Cop cars just, blue lights going, going right in front of my house about three miles an hour. Then one of the cops stopped next door and talked to the guy next door and the guy just started like… laughing hysterically, I could hear him from my house," McDaniel who recorded the chase told WATE.
The officers ended the chase when they cornered MeeMoo near a local home surrounded by hedges. McKinney estimated that the entire search took seven hours and covered a distance of 20 miles. No one was hurt and most residents seemed to enjoy the incident though some were slightly intimidated by the five-foot-tall bird. "I whistled and he realized that Dad was there," McKinney said. "And I went up and I gave him a big hug. For us, he's like a dog. But for people that had never seen any emus before, it was a T-Rex coming down the sidewalk at them." McKinney stated that when MeeMoo returned to his enclosure (which has now been reinforced with higher walls to prevent another escape), he immediately returned to his nest to care for his eggs. MeeMoo and his partner MeeMee are caring for multiple eggs which means that a new generation of emus may soon be antagonizing Harriman police. "We've had a lot of stuff going on here in Tennessee – the shootings in Nashville – we've had a couple of shootings here…," McDaniel said. "It's been a great thing for us as a community to be able to have a couple of days [that bring] a smile on your face instead of just heartbreak."