WHEN it was announced that the avian flu restrictions were going to be eased, keepers at the Lake District Wildlife Park were relieved - whereas Mrs E the emu and Sheila the rhea seemed quite excited.

Over the winter months birds at the Park have been housed in line with restrictions for their safety and to help prevent spreading of the disease.

Last week Mrs E and Sheila were taken back down to their enclosure, which has a large pond for them to bathe in and plenty of grass for them to run around in.

And run is exactly what they did when they were returned to their field.

Emu and rhea are related to the ostrich and although they are flightless birds, they make up for this by running.

Emus can run up to 30 miles per hour and can maintain this speed for quite a long time.

Rheas are even faster, reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

Whitehaven News: PAL: The park's rheaPAL: The park's rhea

The rhea has quite long wings for a flightless bird, but they use these to help them balance when running. The main reason they run is to escape from predators in the wild.

However, Mrs E and Sheila appeared to be running just for the fun of it when they were back out in their field.

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The other thing that Mrs E and Sheila are quite good at is playing their own version of football cross netball. This is no ordinary game though as they play it with cabbages!

Cabbage is one of their food items and sometimes the best way to eat a cabbage is to give a nudge with your foot or throw it around with your beak.

They also like to nibble on some browse, which is leafy branches, given regularly to them by their keepers. They use their impressive beaks to tear off the leaves making a nutritious snack.

Whitehaven News: LURKER: Duke the capybara seemed unbothered when the emu and rhea went awayLURKER: Duke the capybara seemed unbothered when the emu and rhea went away

Mrs E and Sheila share their large enclosure with Duke the capybara.

Duke looks a bit like a large guinea pig and basically keeps his head down and can either be seen basking in the sun or swimming in the pond.

All three of these animals have lived together in harmony for quite a long time now.

Fortunately, Duke didn’t seem too bothered when his feathered friends went on their little holiday over the winter. Equally he didn’t seem too fussed when they returned and were running around the field!

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