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Video: ‘Is that a bird?’ – Visiting the emus of Lansing’s John Witvoet

Emerald eggs, dog food, and reverse seasons a regular part of life for Lansing’s largest birds

by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (October 19, 2022) – Though John Witvoet has retired from catching animals as Lansing’s longtime animal control officer, he hasn’t retired from keeping them. Melanie caught up with John outside of his pasture — where three emus comprise Lansing’s most peculiar poultry:


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. Loved, loved, loved this interview!! So nice to see John again, miss seeing him driving that Lansing truck around town. Those emus are pretty cool and I’m sure give him so much pleasure every day, even though he acted so blasé about them 😉😉. I have seen them as I’ve driven by on occasion, will have to bring the grandkids over sometime.
    Thank you Melanie for bring this smile to my face this morning!

  2. Thanks for bringing such a great story to us!!! Yes, I think our readers could come up with clever names…..whether John wants to use them or not!

  3. It was so good seeing John as he enjoys his retirement and taking care of the farm. I found it very interesting to learn about his emus. It was nice to see some positive feel good news. I’m smiling. Thanks Melanie for the fun video. Great job! 🙂

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