Thats One Heck of a Birdie


ELMA, Wash. -- Every golfer likes a birdie, even more so an eagle. But an emu?
The big bird that showed up Tuesday at Oaksridge Golf Course was another matter, at least for Sue McMeekin of Satsop and Les Bell of Montesano.
The flightless bird, second in size among avians to the ostrich, followed the pair for seven of their nine holes, watching each swing and sometimes walking between them or standing directly in front of them. The emu seemed to take special interest in McMeekin's red fleece jacket.
'It was strange,' McMeekin said. 'She's awful big and she made me nervous.'
Emus, natives of Australia, can grow to more than 5 feet and 100 pounds and are capable of running as fast as 30 mph.
Jeremy Behm, a golf course employee in this town between Olympia and Aberdeen, said he heard a strange sound as he was working in the pro shop around 6:30 a.m.
'I heard a noise and this crazy bird was standing right there,' Behm said.
After hanging around the pro shop for a time, the emu began following McMeekin and Bell while Behm called the Grays Harbor County sheriff's office.
A deputy was dispatched but could not immediately determine where the emu belonged, but soon afterward the owner came from his home from across the street and rounded up the bird at about 10:30 a.m., Behm said.
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