A MOTORIST had a shock on a Hampshire lane when he spotted a rhea by the side of the road.

The ostrich-like flightless bird was seen on a road between Long Sutton and Odiham near Basingstoke.

The bird is “known to police” and the RSPCA, having escaped from its owner about two years ago and has so far evaded attempts to capture it.

A statement from police Countrywatch said: “Generally the bird keeps itself to itself and clearly appears to be coping with living in the wild. The RSPCA states that there are no concerns for its welfare and it does not pose any threat to the public.”

The bird is found in South America and differ from African ostrichs in being smaller, with a feathered neck and three toes.