The emu, an ostrich-like bird, was one of two seen roaming near State Road 44 in Eustis, causing motorists to pull over and observe, the Orlando Sentinel reported. One bird was captured Tuesday but did not survive.
"He [the emu] hurt himself during the capture process because he basically just panicked," said Cyndi Nason, Lake County animal services division manager, adding he likely broke his neck by thrashing.
The second was captured after animal control officers cornered the big bird, and local teen Caleb Codding, who drove to the area with his family to watch the rescue, tossed a rope around its slender neck.
"I threw it [the rope] over its neck and got its foot, so we held it down and put it in the back of the animal control services vehicle," he said. "We were just shocked when I roped it. It was really exciting."
Nason said she believes the emu once belonged to a local resident and hopes someone will step forward to claim it.