A man who helped recapture an escaped rhea in a village outside Ipswich has admitted he had no idea it was an escaped pet at the time, admitting he "just fancied having a go at something that big."
The bird is named Sinead and is kept as a pet by Craig Robinson. It originates from South America, is 6ft tall and is capable of running at 50mph. Despite its size, the rhea is a master of disguise and would blend in unnoticed in most parts of Suffolk if not recaptured.
But after five weeks on the run, Sinead had the misfortune of running into Dave Martin, a 25 year old rugby player on his way home from the pub. "I just saw this massive bird in the lane and thought to myself, I'm having a pop at that!"
After failing to land a punch on the bird's disproportionately tiny head, witnesses claim Martin took the startled bird down with an impeccably timed tackle, wrestled with it, then "carted it off up the lane".
"I looked out into the garden the next morning and I could just see something going apeshit in the shed" he said. "It took a moment, but then it all came flooding back and I worked out where all these bruises came from!
"And why I had bird shit on my cock."