'Stealthy' Giant Rhea Eludes Police In U.K.

'Stealthy' Giant Rhea Eludes Police In U.K.

1:45pm Jun 25, 2015
The female partner of the missing rhea bird that has been on the loose from a private collection in Carlton-in-Lindrick near Worksop, Nottinghamshire, U.K.
The female partner of the missing rhea bird that has been on the loose from a private collection in Carlton-in-Lindrick near Worksop, Nottinghamshire, U.K.
Joe Giddens / PA Photos/Landov

The giant ostrich-like rhea, despite its largely useless vestigial wings, seems to be something of a flight risk.

Last year, we brought you the story of one of the birds — native to South America — that escaped from a farm in the U.K., startling cyclists and otherwise wreaking mayhem in the English countryside.

Well, here we go again. The Daily Mail reports that another rhea is on the lam in rural Nottinghamshire after escaping last week.

As we mentioned last year, the rhea can sprint at 40 mph and, if provoked, deliver a nasty kick capable of seriously injuring a human.

"We are warning local people and particularly those with small children to be on their guard and not to approach the bird, which poses a very real threat to the public due to its size, aggressive nature and the unfamiliar surroundings it could find itself in," Inspector Paul Peatfield of the Nottinghamshire Police was quoted by the Mail as saying.

"Officers are working with the owner to trace the bird as we look to bring his incident to a safe conclusion," he said.

David Lindo, described as a bird expert by the BBC, says rheas are "quite stealthy and they'll be running off, hiding into the bushes ... they can melt into the countryside quite easily."

However, he said that the danger the birds pose has been "overrated."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Support your
public radio station