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ROME, Ga. -- An emu's journey through a Rome neighborhood began with curious onlookers, as it strutted through fields and over streets after escaping from its owner.

But the animal's brief taste of freedom ended in death.

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Floyd County police spokesman Jerome Poole said that after animal control officers failed to take down the emu with tranquilizer darts, it was shot and killed at the owner's request.

Poole said that the emu was "thousands of addresses away" from its owner's property when animal control officers responded to the Kingswood Estates neighborhood on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how the emu escaped or who owned the animal.