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Emu blocks traffic on Howie Bridge in Tavares for nearly an hour

Drivers stuck on bridge were not emused

TAVARES, Fla. – People in Tavares say they were stuck on Howie Bridge for nearly an hour because of a friendly visitor that was blocking the road. 

"My husband said something was going on in the road and this vehicle went around and he was, like, 'There's something on the road, I think it's a llama,' and I was, like 'Oh my gosh, it's an emu,'" said Kandy Cartier. 

Cartier says an emu backed up traffic Sunday afternoon on Highway 19.

"I didn't even think about it, I was, like, 'I have to get this little guy off the road.' As it's happening I'm like, 'Only in Florida would this happen, I have to tape this -- no one is going to believe me,'" said Cartier.

She says they saw the large bird just lying in the road when she and another woman got out of their cars and ran over to help.  

"It had a sock on its head and it had a lease on it. She went to pull the sock off and I was, like, 'No, no, no.' It started getting up so I was trying to like shoo it off the bridge. I mean, we were dead in the middle of the bridge," Cartier added.

Cartier says she was doing the best she could to guide the emu in the right direction, but every time two lanes would open up, it would run the wrong way. 

"I didn't want to to get hit by a car or anything, so I was, like, at least if we can get it in the grass, it's safe," said Cartier. 

It wasn't long until Tavares police and animal control showed up to take the bird into custody. 

"I need to add that to my resume -- apparently I'm an emu wrangler," Cartier joked. 

After police were able to capture the bird, it was reunited with its owner. The bird is doing just fine.