BECKER, Minn. - As a small town police chief, Brent Baloun gets lots of calls about runaway pets.
“(We get) missing cats, missing dogs,” Baloun said. “But we’ve never had something like this.”
But never before have any looked like Dork, an emu that escaped from a Becker backyard last April when a falling tree branch broke his pen. His whereabouts since then are a 6 foot,120-pound beaked mystery.
“It's just taken on a life of its own,” said Baloun.
Neighbor Renee Hildebrandt follows the search for Dork on a Facebook page, which now has 1,000 followers who wear t-shirts to honor him, post photos when they see him and give ideas of how to catch him—from putting out food to luring him with a good looking female.
“It’s kind of fun--just something to watch,” said Hildebrantdt. “People are going nuts over it.”
But so far, Dork is just too quick.
“I know it would be a challenge to chase it around,” said Baloun. “It would be kind of like the keystone cops, I hate to say it.”
Birds of a feather flock together, but Dork's former pen mate, Geek, passed away, so he's now without a feathered friend and, apparently, a will to come home, since he's now been gone six months.
Yet when Dork vanished, other things appeared: Cooperation, community spirit, and a wish shared by thousands to bring Dork the Emu home.
“It’s kind of neat to see the community rally around to try to find him,” Baloun said.