December 13, 2001 at 11:05 PM EST - Updated July 12 at 3:15 AM
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) - An emu spotted as it ran down the middle of a highway had not been seen since it was shooed into the woods.
The flightless bird, which can run up to 30 mph, was seen four times Wednesday, said State Highway Patrol Lt. George Maier. A driver notified the patrol after seeing the emu running down state Route 7 near this eastern Ohio city.
"It kept coming back to the highway, and that had us concerned," Maier said.
The emu is second in size only to the ostrich. An adult emu stands about 5 feet tall high and weighs about 120 pounds. The bird defends itself by kicking and has sharp claws.
Workers from the Ohio Department of Transportation were sent to shoo the bird off the highway but couldn't catch it, and the bird ran into the woods, Patrol Sgt. Joe Fetty said Thursday. Because no houses were nearby, the workers left it alone, he said.
Officers do not know where the emu came from, Fetty said. There are no known emu farmers in the area.
(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)