Escaped emu caught by police in Barnstaple

Emu in police car
Image caption An officer managed to get the emu into a police car

An escaped emu has been captured by police in a patrol car after it was spotted in a north Devon town during rush hour.

The 4ft (1.2m) tall bird was first seen on St George's Road in Barnstaple.

It was then found by officers in nearby Riddell Avenue at about 08:00 GMT, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Despite the emu being in a "state of panic", police managed to get the creature into the patrol car and contacted the owner.

'Talk of the town'

Police said the animal had escaped from a local property.

Acting Sgt Zoe Parnell and PCSO Stephen Huxtable were called to deal with the flightless bird.

Sgt Parnell said it was an unusual situation, not least of because they "never had training for dealing with an emu".

She said: "The owner wasn't sure if it was let out or if it managed to escape.

"My colleague had to pick it up and put it in the back of the car.

"It was a bit scared and it made a mess in the car, but the owners offered to clean it up afterwards.

"It's been the talk of the town. Everyone was taking photos."

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