Video footage of 'Uffington emu'...actually a rhea

  Posted: 09.10.19 at 11:40 by The Editor

Deepings Nub News has tracked down the first person to report an encounter with the so-called Uffington emu - although it's actually a rhea.

Musician Kieran Wade, from Stamford, was training for a sponsored walk in July when he came across the bird blocking his path.

"I was on a public footpath in a field between Uffington and Belmesthorpe," explains Kieran.

"And I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing at first.

"I managed to capture a few seconds of video footage before deciding that it was heading straight for me and didn't look very happy.

"It clearly wasn't going to move out of the way and, as it came closer, it seemed quite aggressive and I got a bit nervous. I actually thought it was going to charge at me.

"That was the point I decided it was a good time to turn-tail and walk away."

As Kieran made his way back along the path a jogger headed towards him.

"I thought I had better warn him about what I'd seen - although I don't think he believed me until he saw it. So we decided to join forces and try to shoo the bird away.

"It was still there and with two of us it didn't put up much of an argument.

"We had to laugh when it ran off across the fields, which at that time of year were shoulder high with crops - all we could see was its head floating along.

"I reported it to the police and RSPCA. I was worried it might charge a family with young children."

Kieran, who has come across emus on bushwalks in Australia where they are the largest native bird, wasn't sure what species he had encountered at the time - although both he and his Australian wife, who viewed the brief video, thought it might have been an ostrich.

But shortly afterwards Kieran was told by one of his students, who lives in Uffington, that the bird is an escaped rhea - a distant relative of the emu and ostrich.

Lincolnshire Police reported in early September that the bird - which they identified an emu - had engaged a motorist in a stand off as he tried to drive down a country lane in Uffington.

A police spokesman said at the time: "We have information to suggest that the emu has been missing for some time and attempts to recapture him have been so far unsuccessful.

"We’re aware that people will see the humorous side...but please be aware that these birds are large and powerful, considered to be winged and dangerous, so please approach with care if you see our wanted emu and do not try to make a citizen’s arrest."

If you have seen the the bird, or you are the owner, call Lincolnshire Police on 101.

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