The elusive bird known as "Eno" the emu that ran around parts of Chapel Hill and Orange County died Thursday during an attempted capture.
According to a news release from Orange County, the county's Animal Services Department along with a board-certified avian veterinarian and two specialists from the N.C. Zoo were trying to capture the bird and relocate it to a sanctuary.
Low-dose sedatives were used to sedate the bird but they were unsuccessful. "Eno" died while the team tried to restrain it. The team then tried to revive the bird by using CPR.
“We had hoped for a better outcome,” Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto said in the news release. “We did all we knew to do. We consulted with zoo experts to determine the best course. Unfortunately, she did not respond to our efforts.”
"Eno" was a 5-foot, 100-pound flightless bird that had evaded capture for weeks but had captured followers and fans on social media to the tune of some 2,300 Facebook Likes for one fan page. There is even an "Eno for Hillsborough mayor" page. "Eno" also starred in an Orange County tourism ad.
“Everyone is devastated,” Marotto said.
The county made the decision to capture and relocate the bird for its welfare as well as community safety.
“We were concerned it could come out on the roadway and cause an accident or be injured itself, and we were also concerned with the opening of hunting season,” Marotto said. “We didn’t feel leaving it alone was a viable option.”
Orange County said it received its first reported sighting of "Eno" in June. No one claimed ownership of the bird despite all of the publicity.