Roanoke family fights to keep pet emu - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke family fights to keep pet emu

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: Chelsea Powell Courtesy: Chelsea Powell
ROANOKE, VA -

A Roanoke family is fighting to keep their family pet--- an emu named ZaZu. They've filed a special request with the city.

"Skunks killed all of our chickens and we read online that emus will protect the chickens from skunks," said Mike Powell, who lives in Raleigh Court and owns the emu.

The Powell family filed a special exception application with the planning, building and development office. The request falls under agricultural zoning.

The emu lives with other animals in the backyard including a fox, chicken and dog.

"We use the emu's waste to fertilize with, we eat the emu eggs, we eat the chicken eggs. As much as you can do and in a city we would like to make it more self-sustaining so we're not increasing our carbon footprint," said Powell.

Roanoke City says they've never had a request for an emu. After investigating staff recommend approving the request noting the approval would be for just one and it falls under the same regulations as other animals. The city says compared the bird to a large dog and if it ran away or became a nuisance the family could be held responsible.

But not everyone is happy.

"I don't think it's an appropriate setting for an emu, generally. My biggest concern is actually safety," said Bruce Knappe who lives next door and says he hasn't had any problems but is concerned and plans on being at the public hearing. "This is, obviously, a very close neighborhood. It's a very small yard. We have a lot of children in this neighborhood."

"She's probably one of the most quiet, docile, laid-back animals you can have. She doesn't affect anybody else's life or the way they live and I just hope that they understand she's not a nuisance to anybody," said Chelsea Powell.

The family's request gets heard next week.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    April 18, 2014 07:19 AM 2014-04-18 12:19:00 GMT
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
  • More details on sex offender arrested after being at Roanoke child day care

    More details on sex offender arrested after being at Roanoke child day care

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:43:05 GMT
    A man whose record stems back from 2010 as a violent sex offender was arrested after being at the Shining Star Family Center on Williamson Road. According to the Virginia State Police sex offender registry,
    A man whose record stems back from 2010 as a violent sex offender was arrested after being at the Shining Star Family Center on Williamson Road.   
  • Virginia Tech Researchers Find The Best Way to Catch Stink Bugs

    Virginia Tech Researchers Find The Best Way to Catch Stink Bugs

    Monday, April 7 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-04-07 17:08:15 GMT
    Virginia Tech researchers in the entomology department have studied several different options for catching stinkbugs in your home and came up with one very simple option that will cost you about seven
    Virginia Tech researchers in the entomology department have studied several different options for catching stinkbugs in your home and came up with one very simple option that will cost you about seven dollars. After two years of studying three different traps the most effective one involved a turkey roasting pan, half gallon of water, and some dish liquid. Tonight more on the tas
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.