By Juli McDonald

HAVERHILL (CBS) — This was a first for Haverhill Animal Control. There was an emu loose in the city Wednesday morning.

“Normally you’re not expecting to see this big, wild bird just on someone’s front lawn that early in the morning,” neighbor Brianna Smith said. “I thought I was seeing stuff!”

The escaped emu was the talk of the town. Neighbors near 17th Ave just couldn’t believe their eyes.

“As we’re getting out of the car the emu turns around and sees us moving and I’m like, ‘OK I don’t know what to do!’ We stopped for a second and he got a lot closer. We put the baby back in the car, I got in the car,” Smith said.

Police with the MSPCA put on quite the show corralling the large bird. Animal Control Officer Michelle Cannon has dealt with moose and bears; This was her first emu! Neighbors say she was cool, calm, and collected.

“There’s a pear tree right next door. She went and got a pear and started feeding him the pear. He was loving it. It got to the point she could just pick him right up and bring to the car,” Smith added.

No people nor animals were hurt during the unusual recovery mission. The emu was carried to safety and returned, with witnesses left shaking their heads.

“Literally what else is going to happen in 2020?!” Smith said.

It is unclear how the emu got loose in the first place.

Juli McDonald