A six-foot-tall emu in the middle of the road was the last thing Lonnie Moberly expected to see on her drive Wednesday morning.

But that's exactly what she saw just after 8 a.m. while dropping her kids off at school.

"We just hit the 22X there and it wasn't about three seconds after that when I saw this emu standing on the road, right in the middle of the highway," said Moberly.

Another driver had already pulled over and was in the process of calling the Alberta SPCA.

Not wanting to leave the stranger to wrangle the bird alone, Moberly parked her car and offered her assistance in keeping the emu away from passing vehicles.

"We were herding it like a cow, almost. We just kind of drove it up the highway a little bit and led it down one of the side roads."

Eventually, her neighbour arrived at the scene with a trailer, which they managed to herd the emu into. 

The RCMP arrived at about 10:30 and transported the animal to safety.

"It's now at the Strathcona Veterinary Clinic. I guess they'll hold it there for about 10 days and hopefully reunite it with the owner, and if that doesn't happen, they'll send it off to a sanctuary just on the outskirts of Calgary," said Moberly.

Photo courtesy of Lonnie Moberly.Photo courtesy of Lonnie Moberly.

Aside from a slight limp, the bird appeared to be in good health.

This being her first encounter with the second largest bird species on the planet, Moberly felt slightly intimidated.

"It was a little nerve-wracking. Someone pulled over and said to keep your distance because they can be a little aggressive, so that made me nervous."

Luckily, the bird was fairly serene throughout the herding process.

"It was pretty calm. If we got too close to it, it started to kind of take off, but we kept our distance and just kind of calmly walked with it. It was fairly docile and it went where we wanted it to go. I was super surprised that we got it in the trailer."

"It was so sweet to see so many people slowing down their cars, pulling over, and just helping out. That was very nice."

She plans to keep in touch with the vet clinic to stay updated on where the bird ends up.

As for her children, who were watching the events unfold from the car, they eventually made it to school.

"They were very late, but they've got an awesome story to tell. I'm sure their whole class has heard about their morning adventure."

The Radiothon is today.