The State

A 5-foot-tall South American rhea pushed him, kicked him and trampled him while he was inspecting a billboard at a privately owned bird ranch, repairman Loren Collins complained in a lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court. The 42-year-old Lodi man said the only way he ended the attack by the ostrich-like bird was to grab it by the neck and choke it until it finally staggered away. Collins claimed that his injuries kept him off his job for four months. Howard Benedict, owner of Benedict's Bird Ranch in Elk Grove, near Sacramento, called the suit "ridiculous." He said he warns everybody to stay away from rheas "because they're mean."

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