Gianna Alvarez isn't a fan of birds, so you can imagine her reaction when she pulled up to Hogan's Irish Bar in Cape Canaveral and was met by an emu Friday night.
"I'm scared of birds in general," Alvarez said. "So when I saw it I was just freaking out. I stayed inside the car."
The pet emu – named Taco and owned by Paul Eaton of Cape Canaveral – had been spooked by a stray dog and hopped its 4-foot fence on nearby Lincoln Street sometime around 8:30 p.m.
A Brevard County Animal Control officer and deputies from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office were called to snare the elusive Taco. It took more than an hour, witnesses said.
"It's like catching a giant chicken," said Cpl. David Jacobs, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
Alvarez, who started working at Hogan's two weeks ago, eventually left her car and went inside the bar to notify patrons about the emu in the parking lot. She was able to take a quick video, which she provided to FLORIDA TODAY.
Taco also jumped the fence in Oct. 2012 and ran amok on State Road A1A before being apprehended by Eaton. He said it was the bird's mating season, so it was trying to move closer to females.
Emus are the second-largest living bird by height and are relatives of the ostrich. They're known as fast sprinters and, when agitated, can jump and kick their long legs frontward with considerable force.