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Escaped South American nandu disrupts traffic on the E40

A South American nandu (Wikipedia Creative Commons/Pixabay/ S. Hermann & F. Richter)
06:29 02/05/2022

Drivers taking the E40 towards Ghent, near Nevele, on early Saturday evening couldn’t believe their eyes when a large flightless bird suddenly appeared by the motorway and then decided to take a stroll along the road, VRT reports.

The South American nandu, a distant relation to the ostrich and emu, had escaped from an animal park in Nevele and decided to explore what was beyond. This led to a certain amount of disbelief among the passing drivers and some traffic disruption for those who eventually got stuck behind the bird as it took its evening constitutional.

A traffic jam formed behind the bird on the section of the E40 between Nevele and Drongen, but fortunately no one was injured and not a single car sustained damage. A motorist made sure that the animal got off the road safely before the fire brigade arrived and rescued the animal before taking it back to its owner.

Ruben Hallaert from Beernem, who saw the nandu walking in front of him, was able to manoeuvre the bird to the side of the road and, with the help of another motorist, eventually catch it. "We worked the animal to the ground, covered its head and then waited for the police and the fire brigade," Hallaert told reporters.

Written by Nick Amies