Unusual bird joins Del’s flock

IPSWICH: An entertainer has introduced an unusual addition to his already crowded menagerie of pets.

What’s good for the goose is good for the rhea at Del Lloyd’s Henley Road home after the 56-year-old showman adopted the curious bird.

The father of four, who is one half of local double-act Del and Joe and has appeared on national television alongside Bradley Walsh and Peter Andre, immediately made a feathery friend in three-week-old Tim the rhea after finding a breeder in Shropshire.

And incredibly, the ostrich-like bird came delivered as an egg in the post.

Mr Lloyd said: “People have this idea of an egg being a living thing but they won’t hatch unless incubated.

“He hatched a few weeks ago and has turned out to be quite mild mannered and docile.”

The Evening Star has met several rhea owners since one of the fully grown birds escaped into the Suffolk countryside but sadly died just hours after being captured by the RSPCA. The 6ft rhea had been seen in Eyke, near Woodbridge, and also close to Campsea Ashe and Marlesford.

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Mr Lloyd is no stranger to looking after animals. His family pets also include two cats, three dogs, chickens, ducks, aviary birds, doves, pigeons and rabbits.

And Tim the rhea has already become quite domesticated, as Mr Lloyd explained: “I hold on to him while watching television in the evening and he quite readily goes to sleep on my shoulder. I think he likes the security.

“He loves pears but will also eat apples, carrots and cucumbers. And he seems to be over interested in anything shiny.”

Mr Lloyd can expect his rhea to grow to between 4 and 5ft tall. He also hopes to introduce Tim to a new friend after a second incubating egg hatches in the next few weeks.

n Do you have any unusual pets or animals? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk