Rhea roams

By Mark Elson   |   Senior Reporter   |
Wednesday 13th March 2019 10:04 am
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*stock image of a Rhea ()

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RAMBLERS in the woods had their feathers ruffled when they saw what appeared to be a small ostrich.

The exotic looking bird was foraging in the undergrowth around the Stenders near Drybrook last Friday (March 8), prompting a walker to phone the Wilderness Centre to ask if it had escaped from there.

When police arrived it was discovered that the creature was a South American rhea, a flightless bird related to the ostrich and emu, which was a family pet that had escaped from a nearby enclosure and was wandering through the woods when it was spotted.

A member of the Wilderness Centre staff said: “I think the person who phoned thought we must be a wildlife centre.

“However, we phoned the police and they sent a couple of PCSOs who reunited the bird with its owners.”

A family member, who did not wished to be named, said: “We’ve had the bird checked out and it is fine.”

And she denied reports that the birds were dangerous, saying: “In fact they are very timid and will run away if approached.”

Police tweeted: “All in a days work, Forest police successfully detained an escaped rhea today. Thanks to all the members of the public who called in.”

A hashtag also referenced the film Hot Fuzz where two police officers chase a swan around a fictional Gloucestershire village.

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