Police are warning residents to beware of a giant rhea bird that escaped into the countryside of Nottinghamshire, England, this week. The ostrich-sized bird reportedly fled a private collection in the area either Monday night or Tuesday morning.
"We are warning local people and particularly those with small children to be on their guard and not to approach the bird, which poses a very real threat to the public," police said.
Rheas, native to Brazil and Argentina, can reach heights of up to six feet, run 40 mph, and have sharp claws capable of disemboweling a human being with a single blow.
But bird expert David Lindo told the BBC that the rhea isn't as dangerous as people think, and is more likely to flee humans than to attack them.
"They're quite stealthy and they'll be running off, hiding into the bushes. ... They can melt into the countryside quite easily," Lindo said.
A fugitive rhea roamed the English countryside for two months in 2014. It was eventually shot and turned into gourmet sausages.
We can only hope this rhea will find its way home to its mate, reportedly pacing its enclosure in distress.