I’ve heard many explanations about how Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and numerous other cryptids have avoided capture and detection for years. Perhaps those same experts can explain how two alien big birds – rheas that escaped from a private pen in England – have managed to avoid being caught by humans or alien big cats for a year.
Police in East Hertfordshire were called out after one of the rheas was spotted this week near Brent Pelham. They managed to record it on video but that’s as close as the big bird got to being captured after a year on the run. It’s one of three rheas that escaped from the Wicken Bonhunt pen of owners Graham and Julie Fleming last February. Named Mary, Mungo and Midge after a British animated series, all three ran wild until June when Midge was captured.
Rheas are large (up to 6 feet tall) flightless relatives of the ostrich and emu, native to South America, primarily in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. They prefer open grasslands, which makes it surprising that Mary and Mungo have managed to hide so well. Perhaps that top running speed of 40 miles-per-hour helps.
The natural enemies of rheas are cougars and jaguars and their unnatural enemies are humans – all of which reside in the area where Mary and Mungo are hiding. Black panthers, lynx, leopards, the famous Essex lion and other alien big cats have been reported across Great Britain, including southeastern England.
So how do two big tasty birds manage to evade big hungry cats? Perhaps there’s an “alien” code of mutual cooperation. That might also explain how they’ve managed to avoid humans as well.
However they do it, let’s hope they keep on running.