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Escaped rhea spotted in South Cambridgeshire will go to sanctuary once captured

By Ben Comber

Lawrence the rhea
Lawrence the rhea

And it's not the only rhea on the loose in East Anglia.

Norfolk man Ashley Bullard has said that he thinks he is the owner of Lawrence, the rhea that has been sighted in the area around Newton since first reports around Christmas Day.

Although he can’t be positive the flightless bird, which is similar to an ostrich, is his, as he told the Cambridge Indpendent that several of the birds are loose in East Anglia.

He said: “The last sightings that I am aware of are in the Newton, Thriplow, Fowlmere and more recently Melbourn and Shepreth area in fields.

“These locations are all very close to each other (especially for a long-legged Rhea) and appear to all be in a triangular shape in the near vicinity where he has been spotted for the last 7 days.

“Despite evading efforts to capture last Friday, there is an animal sanctuary willing to provide a new home where another 5 Rheas already live in a good environment with room to run.

“I am also now pleased to have animal rescue volunteers with experience of capturing Rheas willing to help if we get another positive sighting.”

Should anyone spot the bird the RSPCA have advised not to approach it.

A spokesperson said: “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 the RSPCA or the police if they see one loose. We would not recommend that anyone attempts to restrain or catch a rhea 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.”


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