Escaped ostriches block traffic as they flee down Chinese motorway

Birds captured on camera running down highway after they break out of farm

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 October, 2017, 12:39pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 October, 2017, 5:46pm

Five ostriches that escaped from a farm disrupted traffic in southern China by running almost 50km down a motorway before they were caught.

The birds, each standing at over two metres tall, ran on to the Pearl River Delta city motorway in Foshan, Guangdong province, on Tuesday.

Guangzhou Daily quoted local police on Wednesday as saying that the five ostriches blocked traffic in Shunde district after they started running in the direction of Beijiao on the motorway.

Video footage taken by drivers and passengers along the route showed the birds running alongside cars and blocking lanes.

Their escape caused delays and disruption along the route, although traffic was relatively light because many people had left the area for the week-long national holiday that started on Sunday.

Officers were called to the scene to try to catch the birds. Two of the ostriches were reported to be slowing down when officers caught up with them at an intersection and bound their feet.

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Two others were intercepted by other police officers, helped by members of the public, at a bus stop.

All four were taken back to the farm in Lunjiao that they had escaped from.

Unfortunately, all four birds died from exhaustion having run an estimated 50km in hot weather.

The farm owner said he had managed to catch the fifth bird on his own.

It was reported that the ostriches had been kept for about six months in a shed.

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“They have been behaving but I forgot to lock up the shed properly this morning,” the farm owner said.

He said the birds had charged the gate of the shed together and broke open a wire hook holding it in place.

Liang told the newspaper that this was the last time he was going to try keeping ostriches.