RESIDENTS were left baffled after spotting an EMU raiding the bins next to a bus stop.
Dog walker Lara Thomson, 44, first spotted the flightless bird – understood to be called Shirley – examining a pile of rubbish on the side of the road on Tuesday.
Locals fear the beloved creature escaped from a nearby animal sanctuary.
Lara took to Twitter to share her astonishment at the bizarre sight in Livingston, West Lothian.
She posted a picture of Shirley and wrote: “Living in Livingston you get used to seeing some strange things, an ostrich raiding the bin, porém, is a new one.”
Lara later added: “It belongs to a local cattery and is apparently called Shirley.”
“I was walking my dog Dolly around lunchtime yesterday when I spotted it,” Lara told Deadline News.
“It’s definitely not what I was expecting to see a few days before Christmas.
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“It’s one of the more bizarre things I’ve seen – and Livingston isn’t short of bizarre sights.”
Other Twitter users confirmed the bird was in fact an emu, due to its shorter wings.
One viewer speculated: “Probably escaped off a farm, any near you?”
Another shared her shock, escrevendo: “Desculpa – that’s just off the scale for ‘strange things’ what is going on?”
Davy Catchalot added: “Times are hard for Emus these days.”
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told the Recorde diário: “We were called about this emu yesterday but understand the owner managed to get to it before we attended.”
It’s not the first time a clever pet emu has escaped.
In August last year, six-foot tall emu Ethel legged it from a private wood after she was spooked by passers-by taking her photo.
The bird escaped from her owners and had been living wild on land in Doncaster.
Her owner Kerry Dobson was eventually able to get her back in her enclosure.
Days after she was safely home, another emu was spotted nearby.
Pals insisted the second one was not owned by Kerry.