Sparsholt College Animal Management Team were called in this week to help Hampshire Police and Fire Service rescue a large native Southern American bird which was found in a garden in North Boarhunt. The white female Rhea, christened ‘Snowflake’ by a bystander, is a smaller cousin of the ostrich and likely to have escaped from a private collection. She is now happily settled in to her temporary accommodation at the College’s Animal Management Centre waiting to be reunited with her owner.

Chris Mitchell, Animal Management Centre Manager said: “Working with animals, we’re accustomed to unusual conversations involving out of the ordinary situations. However it did catch me slightly off guard when we had a call from the Hampshire police control room declaring that there was a large bird in a front garden in North Boarhunt and could the College assist.”

It didn’t take long for Chris to assemble the necessary equipment and team and when they arrived on site the police and fire service had the animal contained in the bemused house owner’s front garden.

After a brief assessment of the situation Chris and his team swiftly captured and crated the wayward bird who has settled in well to her temporary accommodation none the worse for her adventure. The College is are hopeful that ‘Snowflake’ can be reunited with her owner otherwise they will ensure that she finds a suitable long term home.

Sparsholt College is renowned for its animal and zoo management department which was rated OUTSTANDING by Ofsted. The College has an unrivalled collection of 1200 animals from 500 species in its purpose built Animal Management Centre and is one of the few colleges in the country with a Zoo Licence and dedicated Veterinary Nursing Centre. Come and see the industry level facilities at one of our Open Days