Beatrice, the famed Vermont emu found in Bow, got loose again and was killed in an accident

The odd story of an emu loose in Bow has come to conclusion, with owner Kermit Blackwood bringing Beatrice home to Vermont. Above: Beatrice the emu joins friends in Vermont. Right: Beatrice shed the sock that was covering her face and enjoyed the view as she was driven back to Vermont.Photos courtesy of Kermit Blackwood

The odd story of an emu loose in Bow has come to conclusion, with owner Kermit Blackwood bringing Beatrice home to Vermont. Above: Beatrice the emu joins friends in Vermont. Right: Beatrice shed the sock that was covering her face and enjoyed the view as she was driven back to Vermont.Photos courtesy of Kermit Blackwood Courtesy photograph

The missing Bow emu has been found and Maria Colby has it in her 100 X 25 foot bird barn in Henniker.

(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)
The now-famous emu, who evaded capture for a week in Bow, is resting in Maria Colby’s barn in Henniker.(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

The missing Bow emu has been found and Maria Colby has it in her 100 X 25 foot bird barn in Henniker. (GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff) The now-famous emu, who evaded capture for a week in Bow, is resting in Maria Colby’s barn in Henniker.(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff) CONCORD MONITOR FILE — GEOFF FORESTER

Blackwood and Lipschutz attempt to restrain the emu in order to carry it into the Prius.

Blackwood and Lipschutz attempt to restrain the emu in order to carry it into the Prius.

A close-up of the Bow emu being cared for by Maria Colby in Henniker.

(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)
A close-up of the emu being cared for by Maria Colby.(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

A close-up of the Bow emu being cared for by Maria Colby in Henniker. (GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff) A close-up of the emu being cared for by Maria Colby.(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff) GEOFF FORESTER

Kermit Blackwood and Daniel Lipschutz of Taft Hill Farm in Vermont attempt to wrangle the emu into the Toyota Prius that would transport it back to their farm.

Kermit Blackwood and Daniel Lipschutz of Taft Hill Farm in Vermont attempt to wrangle the emu into the Toyota Prius that would transport it back to their farm.

By SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Concord Monitor

Published: 08-14-2023 10:04 PM

Beatrice the emu was a runner. This became evident when she escaped from her home at Taft Hill Farm in Townshend, Vt., and after a few months, in September 2015, she arrived in Bow, N.H., believed to have traveled more than 80 miles on foot, including crossing the Connecticut River.

Her story became a sensation. Bow residents were told to be on the lookout for the wayward bird, keep their garage doors open at night in hopes of catching her, and everyone wondered where she came from.

The Monitor wondered how she was doing and contacted her owners for an update on Beatrice.

Despite being safely returned to the farm by her caretakers, it wasn’t long before Beatrice got loose again. Within a matter of weeks, she took off in a frantic sprint, but this time her life was cut short by an accident. She was hit by a truck on a rural Vermont road while out on the lam.

In the week leading up to her eventual return to Vermont, Beatrice was spotted roaming freely through the neighborhoods of Bow. Once the bird was successfully captured and transferred to Wings of Dawn, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Henniker, N.H., Kermit Blackwood — the curator of Taft Hill Farm — arrived to take the emu back home.

“Beatrice being all the way over and out in Hampshire, it was just like, ‘Wow, the fact that she got that far away, it’s amazing,’ ” said Blackwood.

Maria Colby, director of the wildlife rehabilitation center, recalled Beatrice’s friendly demeanor during her short stay.

“When I would walk into the cage, she would come right next to me, sort of trotting and brush up against my arm,” said Colby.

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The return journey to the Vermont farm was as unconventional as Beatrice’s initial escapade.

Accompanied by Blackwood, Beatrice traveled in the back of a 2013 Toyota Prius, with a blue sock carefully placed over her head to keep her calm.

However, when she was back home, fate took a cruel twist for the emu.

On Oct. 14, 2015, a fire broke out in the barn home to cows and sheep. While Blackwood and others at the farm battled the flames, a frantic Beatrice, who was away from the blaze, ran away again.

With a frenzy of powerful kicks to the fence holding her and other emus, she clawed through the enclosure and took off, said Blackwood.

“It was just devastating, and the emus were nowhere near the barn,” said Blackwood. “But the emus panicked and Beatrice, she literally made her way through fencing that held the emus.”

Days later, Beatrice was found lifeless at the side of a road, a mere 15 miles away from her farm. The emu had fallen victim to a collision with a truck in Athens, Vt.

“It was wonderful to have her back and she seemed to be relieved to be home, and to lose her like that, I was really devastated,” said Blackwood.

At 24 years old, Beatrice held the title of the oldest emu at Taft Hill Farm.

While Beatrice was not born within the boundaries of the farm, as she was brought from upstate New York, she is survived by her daughter Millicent and granddaughter Willamina.

Looking back on his time spent with Beatrice, Blackwood said he misses the unique bird.

“Everything was special about Beatrice,” he said. “I guess I bonded with her more than others. She was very large but calm.”