Traffic was jammed on I-20 in Douglas County Tuesday because of an emu running loose. (Credit: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office)

Emu — not ostrich — slows morning commute on I-20 in Douglas County

Add an emu to the list of exotic animals to bring metro Atlanta traffic to a crawl.

Just before daybreak Tuesday, authorities in Douglas County began receiving calls about a big bird — initially identified as an ostrich — running around on I-20 near Ga. 5.

Douglas County sheriff’s Lt. Glenn Daniel told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the emu had gotten loose from a private owner who lived nearby.

Several deputies corralled and captured the big bird just before 7 a.m. The emu appeared to be scared, but was otherwise uninjured and was returned to its owner, Daniel said.

A bison that fell off a truck onto I-20 in 2010 wasn’t so lucky. The bison was one of two being transported through DeKalb County on Feb. 28 when it either fell or jumped out near Columbia Drive, DeKalb police said.

The animal suffered broken legs in the fall, and was euthanized.

Just eight days earlier, a zebra escaped from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in downtown Atlanta.

The zebra took a tour through downtown streets before being captured in a parking lot. It then broke free again and made its way onto the Downtown Connector, where it was recaptured.

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