'Escape artist' rhea on the run for weeks in Oxfordshire

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Media captionThe large flightless bird was seen in the road at Chiltern Bank

An “escape artist” rhea distracting drivers in Oxfordshire has been on the run for four weeks, police said.

The large flightless bird, named Chris, was seen in the road at Chiltern Bank, Peppard Common, on Sunday.

PC Simon Pink said a number of people had called about the rhea, but efforts to capture it had been unsuccessful.

In a tweet Thames Valley Police compared the situation to the comedy film Hot Fuzz, in which officers are tasked with recovering a swan.

PC Pink said the bird was about 5ft tall, and the species was “quite big, quite strong and they’ve got quite big claws apparently”.

He said Chris had been on the loose for four weeks and his owner said he was “a bit of an escape artist”.

“It’s the first time I’ve chased a rhea through Sonning Common,” he added.

The rhea has also been seen was later seen in Shiplake Bottom, Hilcrest Lane, and running across fields in the Sonning Common area.

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Media captionPolice have been trying to capture the rhea around south Oxfordshire

Rheas are large, flightless birds related to ostriches and emus.

In October, a rhea arrived at Evesham Golf Club, in Worcestershire, and staff have so far been unable to catch it.

In 2015, Edward the emu escaped his home in Wheatley and went on the run for six days.

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