Hereford & Worcester

Escaped rhea set to stay at Evesham Golf Club

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionEscaped rhea on the loose at Worcestershire golf course

An escaped rhea looks set to make its home at a golf course it has been roaming for more than two months.

The 6ft, flightless bird arrived at Evesham Golf Club, in Worcestershire, in October and staff have so far been unable to catch it.

Golf club workers said it has become "a star" since its arrival and is "more than welcome to stay".

The club said it was a pet which escaped from the village of Harvington.

Due to its speed the bird was nicknamed Linford, after sprinter Linford Christie.

A temporary course set up while work is being carried at the site has also been named after the rhea.

Talking point

Club secretary Fraser Williamson said it was "monitoring" the bird's welfare adding the club had liaised with animal charities after it arrived in October.

"Because it has been a mild winter it has been foraging for itself and effectively has become a wild animal," he said.

Mr Williamson said Linford was "growing bigger" and spent a lot of time by the River Avon.

"He is a talking point - people enjoy seeing him around the course," he said. "I personally think he is fantastic."

The rhea, which originates in South America, can reach running speeds of up to 40mph (64km/h).

There were initially fears the bird would damage the course's well-maintained greens but it did "not seem interested" in the grass, Mr Williamson added.

"He is not bothered by members here. He comes quite close - about 10ft (3m), but if you come closer he will trot off."

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites