AN ANIMAL home has put out an appeal after an unusual theft.

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A rhea, which is a large bird similar to an ostrich, was taken from premises in Barracks Road, Assington, near Sudbury, some time between 10pm on October 8, and 6am the following morning. Police confirmed the property had been broken into and that a quantity of diesel had also been taken at the same time.

Pat Ferdinando, fundraiser for Suffolk and Essex Small Animal Welfare is asking for information on behalf of the bird’s owners.

She said: “The rhea that was taken was a male with a distinctive white tuft on the back of his head. The owners are very keen to find him because the female rhea which has been his constant companion is pining for him.”

An RSPCA spokeswoman said it was relatively unusual to keep rheas as pets in the UK. The large, flightless birds have grey-brown plumage, long legs and long necks. Anyone with information about the missing bird is asked to call 01787 210888.

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