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Rhea on the run cornered

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 31, 2013

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AFTER a four-day hunt, an ostrich-type bird that had escaped its enclosure near Truro was found safe and well.

Aaron, a two-year-old rhea, which is the South American cousin of the ostrich, was found in a bush by a passing policeman between Tregony and Ruan Lanihorne on Friday.

Upon seeing the officer, who got out of his car to approach the flightless bird, Aaron made off over a small river and into a nearby field.

He had escaped from his home in Tregony on Monday after being startled and hopping over the fence of his enclosure.

His owner, Rose May, said Aaron had been penned in but he had to get used to his new environment before he could be captured. She said: "The policeman stopped his car, and went to have a look, and the bird was so scared that he leapt and waded across a very deep stretch of the River Fal.

"It turns out that this was a real stroke of luck – for me, and not for Aaron's freedom. This field is about 60 acres, and well stock-fenced, except on the riverside. He is very content and is roaming the marshland that used to be the riverbed of the Fal before it silted up.

"He's penned in, so when he's used to the surroundings we'll take him to his new home in Penzance."

Rose thanked all those who got involved in the hunt.

Police launched a three-unit team to search for Aaron on Monday, but they were stood down a few hours later.

A passerby spotted Aaron on the same day and claimed he had been "aggressive".

But Rose said the young rhea would have been terrified and is usually docile.

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