POLICE were called to a North Yorkshire village last night following reports of an ostrich on the loose.

North Yorkshire Police received a call on Saturday evening to say an ostrich was missing from a farm in the Brompton area, near Northallerton.

Officers were despatched to look for the large flightless bird, which can become aggressive during mating season. If cornered, ostriches can attack by kicking with their powerful legs which, have a six-inch claw on the end.

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Last month a Giant Rhea escaped from a home in Hertfordshire, where it was used to keep the grass short. It was tracked down to a golf course in Nuthampstead.

Ostriches are the larger cousins of the rheas, growing between 7ft and 9ft, and on the African savannah can reach speeds of up to 40mph.

It is not known what speeds it reached on the streets of Brompton, as it is believed the farmer managed to locate the bird.