A fugitive emu has led California Highway Patrol officers on a brief pursuit before being taken into custody.
The southbound runaway was apprehended after a 30-minute chase along California 99 and taken to the Madera County Animal Services for processing.
"No you weren't watching a live action Liberty Mutual commercial," the highway patrol wrote on Facebook, referencing the "LiMu" emu featured in Liberty Mutual insurance advertisements.
"This afternoon we were graced by the presence of an emu."
The hairy, flightless bird - initially believed to be an ostrich - was spotted wandering on the right shoulder of the highway near Avenue 17 and was detained without injury using dog snares before animal services arrived, the highway patrol said.
Public Information Officer Gregorio Rodriguez said it was roughly 37.8 degrees Celsius in Madera when the emu got loose and traffic was heavy.
"Everyone was looking. You don't know what the animal is going to do," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."
According to animal services, the emu's owner picked up the bird on Saturday, a day after its great escape. The department couldn't say who owned the emu or how it got loose. It's possible the bird wandered off from a nearby ranch or got loose from a vehicle, authorities said.
Australian Associated Press