The flightless rhea, which weighed around 90lbs, is thought to have escaped several months ago from its enclosure on an estate near Woodbridge, Suffolk.... but it couldn't survive the RSPCA's 'rescue attempt':
It managed to survive the freezing winter and was repeatedly spotted by locals in fields and on lanes around Campsea Ashe, Marlesford, Tunstall and Eyke.
RSPCA spokeswoman Nicola Walker said: 'It was put in a field to recover and appeared to be breathing normally.So, it was running around the countryside perfectly healthily, it's now dead, and you've no idea why, but you aren't going to try to find out, and anyway, you followed procedures, so you're in the clear?
'It lay down for a while, but the new owner said it suffered some sort of panic attack and died.
'We do not know what the cause of death was and we will not be holding a post mortem.
'It could have been suffering from sort of illness before it was rescued by us. It is obviously a very sad ending for all those involved in the rescue.
'We certainly followed all our procedures by the book and we were hoping that it would settle in happily at its new home.'
Did you used to work for the police, love, by any chance?