Glasgow & West Scotland

Rhea recaptured in South Lanarkshire but one still on-the-run

Rhea Image copyright Scottish SPCA

A stray rhea that had been on the loose for a month in South Lanarkshire has been captured - but its fellow escapee is still on the run.

The flightless birds, which are related to ostriches and emus, broke out from a small holding in Wilsontown, Forth.

One of them was spotted in a field near to Wilsontown on Wednesday last week.

Officers from the Scottish SPCA captured the bird safely with the help of a farmer and members of the public. Its companion remains at large.

The captured rhea was later transferred to Auchingarrich Wildlife Park, in Comrie, where it will remain.

'Bit of a stir'

Scottish SPCA Inspector, Heather Lawson, said: "The story of the stray rhea, first thought to be an ostrich, has caused a bit of a stir, with people regularly reporting sightings of it.

"I wasn't sure how we would be able to catch it given the vast area of woodland it was on. However, with a stroke of luck a local farmer spotted the rhea in a field just off Tashieburn Road.

"With the help of fellow officers, members of the public and the local farmers, we were able to keep the rhea confined long enough to construct a holding pen before being able to load him safely into a trailer."

Image copyright Scottish SPCA

Inspector Lawson described the capture as "relatively straightforward" and said the bird was "none the worse for its adventure".

"We're really pleased we have been able to catch him and that he will be able to spend his life at the wildlife park in the company of other rheas," she said.

"Thankfully, this story has a happy ending and we'd like to thank those who spent their time helping with the rescue."

The Scottish SPCA has asked anyone who sights the second escaped rhea to contact them.

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