An escaped emu was detained by police after it was spotted strutting through a Devon town during rush hour.
Police received reports the panic-stricken flightless bird was running up and down a street in Barnstaple trying to get into people's houses, before it was caught.
Officers were called when the 4ft bird was seen on St George's Road, near Pilton Park yesterday. Acting Sergeant Zoe Parnell and PCSO Stephen Huxtable found the emu in nearby Riddell Avenue at around 8am.
They managed to coax it into the back of a squad car and call the owner.
PC Parnell said: "When we first had the call from the public, I thought it was a bit of a wind-up.
"But when I arrived at the scene to check it out, I could see this bird in the street. It was trying to get into people's houses.
"Obviously it was finding that difficult, and would try the next one.
"I must admit that while I'm not normally scared of birds, I was a bit nervous with this one."
The emu, a native Australian bird, has been handed to Diana Lewis, who runs an "animal ambulance" service, and will later be reunited with its owner, police said. PCSO Huxtable, who picked up the fugitive bird and put it in the back of the police car, added: "I've been in the police force for seven years now, and I must say this is one of the most bizarre incidents I have ever been called to.
"I'd only been back in the office for a few minutes and already a few of my colleagues started cracking jokes about me 'feeling peckish'."