LISBON — The search was on for a missing emu Thursday and the bird’s handlers could not be more emphatic in their pleas to the public.

“IF YOU SEE HIM DO NOT APPROACH HIM or CHASE HIM,” according to a frantic message on Facebook, posted by the Rockin’ T Equine Sanctuary and Rescue, which lost the 19-year-old bird on Wednesday.

The emu is known as “The Bird” and is said to stand roughly 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs in the area of 100 pounds. It’s not considered dangerous to people, but handlers are concerned that too much attention from a well-meaning public might force the bird into traffic or the fangs of predators.

Rockin’ T Equine Sanctuary sits on 38 acres on Edgecomb Road in Lisbon Falls. The area is surrounded by woods, which was searched on Thursday by Lisbon police, an animal control officers without success.

By Thursday afternoon, the emu remained missing. The sanctuary’s Facebook post about the runaway bird had been shared nearly 200 times.

The emu, with features similar to those of a ostrich, is a flightless bird. It’s lifespan is said to be between ten and 20 years, although they can live up to 30 years in captivity. Ironically, Rockin’ T Equine Sanctuary came into possession of “The Bird” roughly a decade ago after it was found running loose.

The bird’s owners were asking that anyone who spots “The Bird” call the rescue at 353-6581 or Lisbon police at 353-2500.

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