Loose rhea caught and reunited with owner in Bedfordshire

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People in Hulcote, Bedfordshire, did not know what to do when they spotted a giant bird running loose in the village.

The RSPCA was contacted on Tuesday morning after workers at a local firm spotted the white-coloured rhea running free in yards and fields off Salford Road.

RSPCA inspector Susan Haywood attended the scene to help in an attempt to capture the bird.

“Thankfully the rhea wasn’t injured which I was pleased about but it did mean it was very difficult to catch her,” said inspector Haywood.

“It’s not an easy feat to catch a healthy, adult rhea and this one just managed to give us the slip.

“Rheas are large birds and have the potential to be dangerous as they are strong, fast and have sharp claws.

“Our advice to the general public is keep well away and call us or the police if they see one loose.

“In this instance, a local resident eventually managed to secure the bird and he was returned to his owner.

“However, if someone spots a loose rhea we would not recommend that anyone attempts to restrain or catch it themselves, as these birds are able to kick in any direction and may kick out if they feel threatened.

“If anyone does spot one of these birds, they can contact us on 0300 1234 999.”