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Hunt as 6ft bird goes on the run in Shropshire

South Shropshire | News | Published:

A search has been launched for a six-foot-tall bird which has been missing since escaping from farmland in Shropshire two days ago.

Two rheas, relatives of the emu, fled their pen at The Oakery in Wheatcommon Lane, just off the A49 on the outskirts of Ludlow, at about 4.30pm on Tuesday. The male, Ronald, was recaptured after being found at the nearby Ludlow Touring Park but the female, Rita, is still roaming free.

It is not the first time the birds have escaped and owner Tom Evans has warned Rita is 'not as calm' as the bird which has been found.

Rheas are flightless birds native to South America. When running they can hit a top speed of 37mph.

Ronald was kept on a field at the caravan park on Tuesday night before staff used a 20ft-high net to coax him into a trailer.

Karen Price, manager of the touring park, said: "It certainly was an unexpected visitor. It stayed on the field overnight and Tom came yesterday morning to collect it in a trailer.

"It's a shame, really, we are sad to see it go. People staying with us got up early to go look at it parading around the field."

Mr Evans, who keeps a number of other animals including peacocks, bees and horses, said the birds had escaped before.

He said: "We have had Ronald and Rita for about 15 years but they are second generation, we had a few more before that."

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He added: "They somehow managed to get out of my farm and ran wild. They haven't escaped for a few years so I have no idea why they decided to go now."

He added: "Ronald is the calm one and he was quite relaxed, Rita is not as calm as Ronald, though."

Anyone who spots Rita should contact Mr Evans by calling (01584) 831546.

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