Thursday, 17 April 2014

Keep On Runnin’ Part II

With its reputed ability to disembowel a human with a single blow, it is not the kind of creature one normally expects to encounter in the gentle countryside of the Home Counties.
But a swathe of Hertfordshire is on high alert for a 6ft tall bird which has escaped from its enclosure where it was kept as a pet.
The media are whipping up quite a bit of hysteria over this – you’d think it was dangerous.
The creatures are omnivorous, often eating insects and small vertebrates, as well as their preferred large-leafed plants, and they are said to be – usually – of a timid nature. However, the RSPCA have warned locals not to approach the runaway rhea if they spot it. Instead, they should report sightings to the organisation.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “They look nice but they are so strong it’s unbelievable. They aren’t listed as a dangerous animal but can kill you with one strike of their feet because their claws are six inches long. They will also go for your eyes with their beak.”
Well, yes, that’s just a natural defence mechanism against predators and other threats.

10 comments:

Demetrius said...

Incidentally, did you see the Mail tale about poisoning dogs in the park, Fryent Park, that was in today, Thursday. I wonder how many of the endangered dogs were running around unleashed. Perhaps someone has had problems with such dogs there.

Robert the Biker said...

Well, no offense, but these are a damned dangerous thing (for a bird) and quite capable of doing for a child or animal that came across it unexpectedly. Hopefully, since the supposed 'owner' is not fussed and plans to do nothing, some farmer will simply shoot the poxy thing and have a few months of roast Rhea, Rhea sandwiches and finally a Rhea curry.
Seriously, why would you keep something like this without being able to secure it!

Rightwinggit said...

If this thing is anything like an Ostrich, you don't want to be anywhere near it.

An Ossy kick has a striking force of 2000 pounds a square inch, they can kill a lion with one strike.

swanseajock said...

As the lady who edits a local parish newsletter told Radio 5 Live yesterday, the reason this thing is on the loose is because no-one can get close to it, it just runs away. So not much chance of getting disembowelled really!

Fidel Cuntstruck said...

It's likely that the local Eastern European population will be the solution to this little problem .. it'll make a nice change from roast Swan.

James Higham said...

This is the stuff of rollicking detective novels.

Obligato said...

How do you solve a problem like my Rbea?

Anonymous said...

For six months we looked after 90 Ostriches on their way from Namibia to Canada, while their Canadian sheds were being built. They were adult birds between six and nine feet tall. They were not aggressive in any way. The male birds would occasionally display their feathers when you walked past them but that was about it. The only injury they caused me was a bruised ear, which they would peck if you weren't wearing a woolly hat.

JuliaM said...

"Perhaps someone has had problems with such dogs there."

It's possible. Also possible someone's looking to reduce the feral fox population.

"...these are a damned dangerous thing (for a bird) and quite capable of doing for a child or animal that came across it unexpectedly."

'Capable' ≠ 'Likely to'.

I'd rather have one of these in the area than the many unleashed, non-socialised 'Staffy Type' status dogs!

"If this thing is anything like an Ostrich.."

Only in the fact it's a ratite. It lacks the aggression.

Think of the difference between a Cape Buffalo and a domesticated Asian waterbuffalo.

JuliaM said...

"This is the stuff of rollicking detective novels."

:D

"They were not aggressive in any way."

Don't try them in the breeding season!