PERRY COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Could they really say no?
After seven months on the run, the docile but hungry Perry County Emu finally found a person he (or perhaps she; that part’s still uncertain) didn’t want to run from – 15-year-old Hanna Yohn.
And now, after some discussion between Hanna and her mother Jessica Yohn and grandmother Jo An Yohn, and between the Yohns emu’s original owners, the emu will become a permanent member of the Yohn family, the Yohns confirmed.
As everyone knows: If mom is uncertain, ask grandma.
“My mom said yes,” Hannah recounted Saturday. “And then she was kind of iffy about it, and my grandma was like: ‘We should definitely get it.'”
Hanna, a ninth-grade student, wants to be — what else? — a veterinarian. She already had experience handling birds. Just not ones as big as an emu.
The emu’s name? Elvis, Hanna said. That’s what the people of Perry County named it during its seven-month adventure, and Hanna saw no sense in messing with a good thing.
For all the surprises the past two days have brought, Hanna’s reaction when grandma and mom said yes was predictable.
“I was really happy,” she said. “I was like, we get to keep him. He’s a really cool bird, and he has a really awesome personality.”
Hanna says emus live up to 20 years in the wild and up to 35 years in captivity. As Elvis settles into his new home, a vet should be able to estimate his or her age plus determine… well… whether it’s his age or her age.
Hanna noticed Elvis while getting off the school bus Thursday. She ran up to her house, grabbed some chicken feed and ran back down the driveway. While the hungry bird ate, a gathering crowd helped direct traffic around every one of both species, and one man fetched a rope. Hanna’s younger brother, seventh-grader Carter, helped corral the bird.
For now, Elvis is making his or her home in a mostly empty garage. The Yohns are clearing out a larger space for more comfortable temporary digs; then they’ll begin constructing a permanent home for Elvis, complete with a large outdoor emu run.