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Dog walker encounters six foot bird in the Forest of Dean

The South American Rhea was spotted in the area near Drybrook.

A dog walker has had a surprise encounter with a six foot bird in the Forest of Dean.

It's hard to tell who was more shocked on their walk, Jason Burford from Cinderford or his dog Molly, when the pair turned the corner to find the big bird.

The bird - a South American Rhea - is likely to have escaped from a local collection according to an animal expert.

48-year-old Jason Burford says he and dog Molly weren't worried by the sight of the imposing avian in the area near Drybrook.

Molly the dog was well behaved and kept a safe distance from the bird.

I hadn't been there for years but I went on a whim as I used to live there.

I just rounded the corner and there it was. The dog is good around other animals. But, for someone else, it could have been a shock. It could have done an untrained dog some damage. It's a funny story but it could have been nasty. I was just trying to get it off the track.

– Jason Burford

The Rhea has been reported to the RSPCA.