The search for a 150-pound emu on the loose in Nanaimo took flight on Twitter Wednesday.
Lucy, a 16-year-old emu, took advantage of an open gate and fled Tim Genner’s home in Cassidy on Sunday.
The bird is believed to have gone up Nanaimo River Road and back into town on Nanaimo Lakes Road. It was spotted Tuesday in Colliery Dam Park and near Vancouver Island University.
Emus can’t fly but can run at a pace that exceeds city speed limits.
Lucy is actually a male, but by the time his gender was discovered the name had stuck, said Genner.
“Lucy the Emu” popped up on Twitter Wednesday, and by 9 p.m. the account @Lucyontheloose had about 185 followers.
“I’m a friendly 150-lb flightless bird roaming the streets of Nanaimo — I enjoy freedom, grapes and emu puns,” said the description.
The jokes have travelled faster than an emu as the story spread through the media. “Not a flight risk,” said one report, referring to the emu’s inability to fly.
At 3:45 p.m., Lucy the Emu tweeted: “Emu to do list: 1) Get Found 2) Get Home Safe. I may be the #EmuOnTheLoose but with your help I won’t be. Tim’s waiting 250-591-6131.”
At 4:20 p.m., Lucy tweeted that there was a possible sighting at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Cpl. Dave Boyce of Nanaimo RCMP said Wednesday he wasn’t aware of any recent sightings.