GIFFORD, Ill. (WCIA) — People in Gifford got a surprise Thursday morning when they looked out their home windows and as students arrived for school: an emu in their front lawns.

Several people in Gifford reached out to Nexstar’s WCIA to report emu sightings throughout town, including in their front yards. The emu eventually made its way to Gifford Grade School.

Principal Maggie Woodham said the emu made its appearance outside the school right as students were arriving for the day. She was outside at the time, making sure students were entering the building safely, and pulled out her phone to record footage.

“It made for an exciting last week of school for the kiddos,” Woodham said.

This is only the latest in a recent string of sightings of the emu, which has been on the loose in Vermilion and Champaign Counties since last fall. The most recent sighting was on Interstate 74 two weeks ago.

A WCIA reporter is on scene. He reported that the emu is heading north on a county road outside of Gifford, where people are chasing the emu on their ATVs, trying to corral it. He also said that the emu’s owner is aware of where it is.

This is a developing story.