Press Releases

Out of Africa to the Rescue!

Posted September 25, 2017

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Out of Africa received a phone call asking if we were missing an ostrich because one was running loose on a reservation over a mile away from the park. A radio call went out to the animal staff inquiring if we might be missing any of our feathered inhabitants. Park staff assured everyone that all ostriches were present and accounted for.

At approximately 4 pm, another phone call came in to report what looked to be an ostrich running in traffic on SR-260, somewhere in front of the park, causing a traffic jam. Animal staff received another radio call informing them of the situation. They jumped into action, gathering dart guns, catch poles, nets, and a means of transport. Upon arriving at the scene, they notice a couple of police officers and two others trying to catch it and prevent it from causing an accident though they had been unsuccessful. We quickly discovered that it was not an ostrich, but an emu. Emus are a bit smaller than ostriches, and they are from Australia, not Africa. With several of our staff gathered, Courtney Palmer, safari group manager, suggested everyone form a semi- circle to corral the emu. The emu jumped over a barbed-wire fence and headed off. Everyone began following, and the emu went down into a small ravine where one of our large carnivore staff, Brandon Jackson was able to grab it and hold on. The park co-founder and president, Dean Harrison, suggested grabbing the emu first, and then if it became necessary dart it.

After receiving a small amount of calming drug, the emu was placed into the trailer and returned to its home. The emu is back with its owner and doing just fine. It had been chased from a fenced yard by a stray dog and literally ran for its life, covering vast territory before ending up in front of the Out of Africa park. All of the Out of Africa staff involved were happy to assist in bringing about a happy outcome.

About Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Since 1988 Out of Africa Wildlife Park has been dedicated to promoting the discovery and appreciation of wildlife for all ages and creating an experience steeped in fun, immersed in learning, and inspired by the living and colorful world of astonishing wildlife. Showcasing exotic animals from around the world, the 104-acre Park provides its visitors a unique and interactive way to see and experience beautiful creatures and their natural behavior up -close. The Park supports and promotes conservation awareness and action, practices exemplary animal care, provides education and learning experiences, and establishes broad community support—all through a peaceful and interactive relationship with our animal friends who touch all of our hearts. Out of Africa Wildlife Park is located three miles west of I-17 on SR-260 at 3505 W. SR- 260, Camp Verde, AZ 86322. Only 90 minutes north of Phoenix and 30 minutes south of Sedona, the Park is open year-round, seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Children two and under visit for free. Parking is free. For more information call 928-567- 2842 or visit Also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Ashton Powell
Phone: 928.567.2842 ext. 204