Deputies need your help finding an emu missing from Golden Gate Estates

Published: April 20, 2022 4:30 PM EDT
Updated: April 21, 2022 4:58 AM EDT

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help finding a two-year-old pet emu.

Merlin the emu went missing from its pen in Golden Gate Estates. Its owners say they last saw Merlin around 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 15 around 68th Avenue NE and 70th Avenue NE. The emu’s owners say they believe Merlin was freed from its pen by their pet goat.

Marcela Zurita and Michael Tanguay are animal lovers. they have chickens, ducks goats and two emus. But one of those emus is currently missing. “I can’t describe what I feel right now. I’m devastated, I just want him back,” Zurita said.

And, they aren’t the only ones worried about Merlin. “He knows all the neighbors, we’re all family he plays with the kids next door everybody knows when people come by on their bikes to say ‘hi,'” said Tanguay.

Marcela and Michael believe their goat, Tommy, may be to blame. On Friday, they found the meu’s cage rammed open. And, Tommy’s collar was found nearby. “We went on the trails, we posted on Facebook. Kind-hearted individuals they were offering to help look for him. People on their ATVs going around miles just in case, looking over the weekend for him but nothing,” Tanguay said.

Now, it has been five days since they’ve seen Merlin. “He’s a family member you know I’m pretty sure everyone is asking what is so special about this emu, you know he’s he’s my baby,” said Zurita.

Michael and Marcela say Merlin never wanders too far. “We want him back. He is family, he misses us, our other emu, Petunia, misses him,” said Tanguay.

Petunia, like many others in this community, has gone looking for Merlin. “Everyone is concerned everyone is asking me every day you know did you hear about Merlin did you find him,” Zurita said.

Emu Merlin has white and brown feathers and is missing some of the feathers on his neck. His owners say he is friendly. Merlin’s owners say their bird was not wearing the bowtie shown in the photo above.

If you have seen Merlin or know where the emu is, you are asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300.

If you’re trying to lure Merlin in and get him back to his family, the owners say you can offer him his favorite snack – cut-up apples. They also say he’s very friendly.

Everyone is hoping Merlin makes his way back home.