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FIRST ON 3: Giant bird on the loose in Masonboro Sound area


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Bird has been the word today on the east side of Wilmington.

Wilmington Police have been chasing an unlikely suspect along Masonboro Sound Road. They describe him as being about five feet tall, covered in feathers and quick on his feet.

Neighbors found him lurking in the woods. They tried cornering him, but he got away.

"We had him," neighbor Gloria Holland said. "We had all corralled him. I told them to all get in a semi-circle and corral the bird, but to walk slowly and to walk softly. Just a crack in the branches would startle him."

The rhea, a large flightless bird similar to an emu or an ostrich, escaped from its fenced-in home late Wednesday afternoon. Neighbors say the bird is easily startled, and raging hormones during mating season are not helping.

"I grabbed my coat and was putting it over his head. About the time I put the coat over the bird's head, the bird just took both legs and just threw the guy about two feet up in the air, knocked the wind out of him, and took off," Holland said.

Neighbors say this is not the first time the bird escaped, but his true love is back home calling for him.

"The female bird is in the pen, and he is just trying to figure out how to get back to her, because they pair for life, and they won't separate from each other," Holland said.

That means it should be just a matter of time until this bird on the run comes home to his love nest.

Neighbors say the bird is very fast and drivers in the area need to be careful of the 150-pound bird darting into traffic.

At last check, our fine feathered friend was still on the lam. We'll let you know he comes home to roost.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


giant bird

Get the government involved, they can help...

Yup, for sure 234523. Call

Yup, for sure 234523. Call the government, they're always here to help. If govt can't cure it, they'll kill it.

I have a solution

I have an old ACME catalog I will donate that has several options available to catch this delicious looking bird........

First of all that's an emu

First of all that's an emu not a rhea. Secondly emus mating season is from Novemer to March.


So you don't think the owner knows what type of bird he has?

That is correct. The owner

That is correct. The owner also killed it by trying to catch with it with a rabies pole, so he also had no idea how to capture his own bird. Brilliant if I must say so myself.


If you want that bird captured tell Barfield it is a snack before dinner or tell White, Berger is bringing it to the next meeting!

The owner is a doctor?

The owner is a doctor? Remember several years ago when another doctor kept pigs in his house? Whatever floats your boat goes now a days, i guess.

Pig story is from the 1980s.

Pig story is from the 1980s.

Well, at my age, thats

Well, at my age, thats several years ago. why nit-pick? I worked in the OR when he was there. at least you read the comment.

A female mate for life

A female mate for life that's calling him....poor thing. Probably why he hightailed it........Beep...Beep.


Mr. Barfield has dined and will not think this is poultry on steroids.

A 150 pound escaped bird???

A 150 pound escaped bird??? I could become interested in finding it if WWAY would publish cooking instructions....

Large Bird...

Skewer, plenty of Shake & bake...
Hmm *taste's Like Chicken*....

What a gorgeous animal

I hope that they capture it before it gets hurt.


Rhea to be captured

Hey, I used to work birds like this for a living. If they want help catching it I'll get it for them very quickly.

They were trying to handle it in all the wrong ways.


That bait won't work.

It'll get sick, spit Barfield back out and run even harder.