February 9, 2009

Big bird wreaks havoc after farm escape

A 6-foot-tall South American bird, a rhea, destroyed several gardens in the English county of Worcestershire after escaping from a farm, the bird's owner says.

Sharon Gould, who owns the large rhea bird, said the animal escaped Gouldise Poultry farm by scaling a 3-foot-high fence and soon was on a 7-hour spree of destruction in the area, The Daily Telegraph said Monday.

We think he got spooked by a dog and jumped out of his pen and made off across the fields, Gould said of the recent escape by the bird named Charlie.

After destroying several gardens and hedges with a three-mile radius of the farm, the rhea was eventually captured by 12 area residents armed with sticks and blankets.

The animal's capture was a relief for Gould, who admitted having problems locating the oversized bird.

They looked at me like I was a bit mad, Gould told the Telegraph, referring to her requests for help in finding Charlie. But then I heard he'd caused quite a commotion in people's back gardens and was being treated at the vets.