Rhea Bird on the Loose in England After Escape

Flightless birds are usually found Down Under but that’s not the case for the fearless feathered friend in this story. Members of a British family are now asking their neighbors to look out for their unusual pet, a five-foot-tall rhea bird.

Sophie Wills said her family’s rhea, Basil, escaped from his enclosure at the family’s Rushden, Northamptonshire, home when he was scared by some nearby dogs barking. The flightless bird, which is a distant relative of the ostrich and the emu, is actually native to South America.

There have been numerous sightings of Basil reported in the area but no one has been able to get close enough to the bird to even attempt a capture.

“He’s around five feet and very placid but please do not approach him,” Wills said. “He’s got to know us, so I’d like to think he’d come up to us. Even if he came to someone, you aren’t going to be able to catch him. His legs are very strong and if you got caught by a kick it would probably hurt. We would rather people left it to us.”

The family posted about the missing bird on Facebook in the hopes of someone being able to help return Basil. As of this writing, the escaped rhea is still missing.