Emus escape tourist farm in Kumamoto

A large group of emus -- giant flightless birds native to Australia -- has escaped from a tourist farm in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

Local residents informed Kikuchi City officials about the birds roaming outside the facility on Thursday morning.

The officials found that about 20 of the farm's 54 emus had escaped.

Firefighters and others were trying to capture the fugitives, but 11 were still at large just before noon.

The farm opened last December at the site of a closed elementary school.
The officials have called on residents not to approach the birds but say emus are generally mild-tempered and rarely threaten people.