Another emu is on the loose in MN, so why do people keep them as pets?

Another emu is on the loose in Minnesota.
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If you think reading that an emu on the loose in Minnesota is weird enough, how about two?

Well that's what's happening right now, with Southwest News reporting that the Peiffer family, who live near Chaska, have been searching for their emu for the past two months.

It's been spotted in nearby Victoria and Cologne, with owner Warren Peiffer once getting close enough to take a shot with his tranquilizer gun, only to miss and see the emu flee (they reach speeds of up to 35mph).

The relatively unlikely event of an emu of all animals led some to believe that the bird was "Dork," the emu that has been on the loose from his home in Becker since April.

But nope, they're completely different emus, meaning Minnesota currently has two of them on the run.

Why do people keep emus? 

No, it's not a question we ever thought we'd be answering either.

While some have kept them as a source of meat or to harvest emu oil, there's also been a growing trend of people keeping them as pets too.

When fully-grown they're the second largest bird on Earth, after the ostrich.

PetPonder notes that the past two decades saw more farmers start breeding them, and they became a popular pet of choice due to their exotic appearance and gentle nature.

They're not the easiest animals to keep – they need plenty of enclosed yard space to run around and (in Minnesota particularly) a large and cosy shelter to keep them warm.

But this blog also notes that they're pretty hardy and healthy animals, meaning you likely won't require regular trips to the veterinarian.

One emu owner shared their experience on Countryside Daily, noting that they, like most other owners, got their emu when they were babies – when they are a) impossibly cute and b) easier to train to be accustomed to human touch.

Taking on an adult emu can present danger, with the birds known to slash with their large claws if they're not used to being touched.

Otherwise though, HobbyFarms notes that emus are typically curious, docile and non-aggressive towards people.

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