By Aliki Kraterou
An escaped 6ft rhea has made its home on a prestigious golf club – and has refused to leave for so long, it’s even now been given a NAME.
The ostrich-like flightless bird, dubbed ‘Linford’ after Linford Christie because of his ability to reach speeds of up to 40mph, escaped from his owner’s home in WHERE in October.
After travelling five miles by road, the 13-week-old feathered friend set up residence at Evesham Golf Club in Worcestershire, and has stayed put ever since.
Staff say friendly Linford – who loves apples and is set to grow even taller – is unfazed by the golfers and loves to strut his stuff on the green, as hilarious footage shows.
Robert Steele, head professional at Evesham Golf Club, said: “I’ve played golf all over the world and have never experienced anything like this.
“Now, between coaching, I take people out on the buggy just to see the bird.”
Green staff only became aware of Linford’s new home when they spotted his unusual footprints in the bunkers.
Since then, many have attempted to catch the bird, who particularly loves the river hole, but no one has succeeded.
Linford’s owner has since given up on attempting to return her pet to his original home and said the 124-year-old golf club can take honorary ownership of him for as long as he wants to stay.
Staff at the nine-hole course have now even changed the name of hole seven – currently known as the Linford hole – in his honour.
Members have also welcomed Linford, and professionals are even considering adding a local rule to accommodate his footprints and whereabouts.
Ryan Cleary, assistant professional, said: “We follow Linford around on a buggy just to keep up with him.
“He seems to be enjoying all the fruits the course has to offered and the views of the River Avon.
“Linford’s owner is aware he’s here and doesn’t mind – she drops food off and we are going to look after him for as long as he wants to stay.
“While we do work on our seventh hole, we have readjusted the course and called it the Linford hole.