This is the moment a six-year-old girl who went to feed the birds in her garden was confronted with a 3ft Nigerian Crane – as big as HER.
Stunned Keira Ridgeway had expected to find pigeons and seagulls but came face to face with the massive exotic bird perched on the fence.
The endangered West African Crowned Crane is known as the ”national bird of Nigeria” and has beautiful black and yellow plumage.
Keira, of Barnstaple, Devon, gently stroked the friendly bird as her mother Natasha took photographs.
Natasha said: ”It was the last thing we expected to see in the garden. We both nearly fell over when we saw it.
”But he was friendly enough and just waddled about. I think it was enjoying the attention.”
The bird was later taken away by Diana Lewis, from the North Devon Animal Ambulance.
She took the crane, which needs a specialist diet and lots of space, to the RSPB centre at West Hatch, near Taunton, where it will receive expert care.
Diana said the bird was probably an escaped pet and was tagged while the owner is traced.
She also advised people to not stroke heron-like birds because they are liable to attempt to peck.
The West African Crowned Crane makes distinctive honking noises and is found in an African region extending from Senegal to Chad.