The family of the Debrecen zoo has been expanded by an ostrich: the 20-year-old bird named Pisti was brought to the park in Nagyerdei by the donation of a private person, the director of the institution told MTI.
According to the information of Sándor Gergely Nagy, the animal quickly got used to its new environment and is already moving at home in the company of two eggs and the moose in the Africa panorama enclosure, where it also shows great interest in the visitors who pass by.
Since it is vigorous, and ostriches can live up to 40 years in human care, the institution hopes for successful reproduction in the future, he added.
Ostrich (Struthio camelus), native to the south of the Sahara, and somewhat on the savannahs of East and South Africa, is the largest and fastest running bird on Earth; the height of the eggs can reach 2, that of the roosters can reach 2.8 meters, and their speed can be up to 70 kilometers per hour – explained the expert.
The ostrich gathers its food, which mainly consists of plant parts, during the day in pairs or small groups. During the mating season, it can form groups of up to 100 people with a leader egg at the head.
In the nest cavity scraped by the rooster, several hens lay eggs, but the hatching is carried out alternately by the hen and the leader: the hen with black feathers sits on the one-and-a-half kilogram eggs at night, and the hen with gray feathers during the day. Due to the frequent jackal and hyena attacks, only 15 percent of hatchlings reach the age of one year.
Although it still lives in large numbers over a large area, its population has declined significantly in the last two centuries, so the species is on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Sándor Nagy Gergely explained that they are kept as farm animals all over the world, including in our country.