An ostrich-like bird caused traffic chaos after it was spotted running down a country lane in Kent yesterday.
The rhea, native to South America, was seen holding up traffic in the roads around Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, after it escaped from its enclosure on a nearby farm.
It was spotted jogging around in Speldhurst, Kent, around 11.30am on Tuesday.
The rhea, native to South America, was seen holding up traffic in the roads around Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, after it escaped from a nearby farm yesterday afternoon
Psychotherapist Michelle Brown snapped a picture of the bird as she drove down the country lane.
She said: ‘I was quite irritated by the sporadic driving of the driver in front of me – I thought he might have had a little tipple at lunch.
‘When I saw the rhea I was astounded, it was one of those moments where you have to check if you are really awake.
Janet Lamb, who owns the bird, said: ‘I’ve got 13 of them and they’ve escaped several times.
The giant ostrich-like rhea was spotted holding-up traffic after it escaped from its enclosure and went for a stroll yesterday afternoon
‘I got them because I was told they chase foxes and would protect my chickens, but they don’t seem to at all.
‘There’s a gate on my driveway and people don’t always shut it, so they occasionally go and walk about.
‘They tend to run away from things like cars and people, and they usually escape because someone has driven behind them and pushed them onto the road – they don’t generally go down there.
‘When they get onto the road, they do panic a bit. They’re a bit smaller than an ostrich but they’re nice birds, they’re not aggressive at all.
‘People do find it quite funny seeing them in the road.’
Thankfully the bird was returned home only a couple of hours after it escaped.
It was spotted jogging around in Speldhurst, Kent, around 11.30am on Tuesday
They can grow to a whopping 5ft tall, and weigh up to 88lbs – making them taller than a pony and heavier than most dogs.
Janet’s first hatchling was born in July 2012, and she has since amassed a herd of the birds.
Rheas are native to grasslands in South America, and are considered near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Another bird escaped in 2014, when it caused 20-minute-long traffic jams, and was seen running around during a morning rush-hour.
The following day, two other members from his clan set off on an adventure and were spotted in a neighbouring farmer’s field.