More sightings of the west Norfolk runaway rhea may prove more than one has been on the loose in recent weeks

Another rhea may be on the loose. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Another rhea may be on the loose. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

To have one 6ft ostrich-like creature roaming the Fens might seem peculiar enough. To have a second on the loose, is all the more so.

Yet, extraordinary as it sounds, that seems to be the case.

The fugitive rhea – a South American bird kept by some as pets in the UK – made headlines earlier this month when it was spotted by motorists on A17 at Terrington St Clement, sparking a police search of the area.

That hunt for the flightless bird – which can reach speeds of up to 40mph – proved fruitless but, according to the RSPCA, a rhea was later cornered and coaxed into a paddock, where its owners – who have not been identified – came to collect it.

With that, the case seemed closed. Days later, however, a fresh sighting of a rhea was made – this time in Clenchwarton.

Jennifer Rowe said her daughter, Sophie, saw a rhea running along Station Road in the village on her way to work, suggesting either the first had broken loose again or a fellow flightless bird had caught onto the idea.

Meanwhile, more sightings have come in, with the bird reportedly spotted at the weekend at Tilney Cum Islington.

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The RSPCA spokesman said: 'Our advice to the general public is keep well away and call us or the police if they see the rhea.

'We would not recommend that anyone attempts to restrain or catch an rhea themselves, as these birds are able to deliver a powerful kick and may kick out if they feel threatened.'

If anyone does spot the bird they can contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.