Exotic bird is captured in Suffolk by animal sanctuary - and identified as a rhea

Tony Nelson took this photo of the rhea close to the water tower just outside Hollesley. Photo: cTon

Tony Nelson took this photo of the rhea close to the water tower just outside Hollesley. Photo: cTony Nelson 2015 - Credit: Tony Nelson

An exotic bird seen roaming the Suffolk countryside has been safely captured and taken in by an animal sanctuary.

The six-foot bird, now confirmed to be a rhea, caused a flap when it was seen wandering around a field next to the water tower north of Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

How the bird arrived in the field remains a mystery to staff at Hillside Animal Sanctuary, in Frettenham, Norfolk, who answered the call for help catching the bird, which has been identified as a rhea, native to South America – not an ostrich, or an emu, as speculated.

It took staff a while to net the bird, which can reach speeds of up to 40mph and had eluded previous attempts.

Once caught, they loaded it in a trailer and took it to the sanctuary, where it is staying in a stable.