BBC Home > BBC News > England

Rare albatross released into wild

2 July 07 11:31 GMT

A rare albatross found on a Somerset beach by a walker has been released after a check-up by animal rescuers.

The bird, believed to be either a yellow-nosed or black-browed albatross, was discovered, uninjured but tired, on the beach at Brean on Friday.

The albatross, which had flown thousands of miles off course, was released from a cliff top on Saturday.

The Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre said it had been years since one was seen in the county.

The bird - which boasts a two-metre wingspan - landed near Hugh Harris's bungalow in Brean.

Thinking it was a fulmar, Mr Harris put the bird into his car boot and took it to Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre, which is in Burnham-On-Sea.

Mr Harris, 76, said: "I saw it wandering around on the tarmac in my drive. It was absolutely huge.

"I didn't know what it was but saw it was too tired to take off again.

"He let me pick him up - I was so surprised at how light he felt."

Pauline Kidner, founder of the rescue centre near Burnham, said: "It will never happen again for 1,000 years. We did not know what it was until it came in."

Related BBC sites

*