Ostrich situation-African Stories

On one of our safaris while we were observing a careless herd of graceful and innocent impalas next to our closed car window we experienced an ostrich situation.

Namely, a long neck with two huge eyes surprised the heck out of us. First of all, the situation was terrifying because people say that ostriches have the largest eyes of all land animals, and yes that is correct. He was closely looking at as with his manic eyes until he found a rearview mirror and started looking at himself. We were very much enjoying the view of him admiring himself, just like the ugly duckling did when he turned into a beautiful swan.

Ostrich eyes

Ostrich – The World’s largest bird

These types of birds use their wings for a lot of things, but flying isn’t one of them. They use them to cover up their legs during cold winter days, to wrap their young ones, to seduce their partner or to change direction especially if they’re in a run.

Spindle muscles on long and thin legs can be a secret weapon for some women and if we transfer this allusion to the animal kingdom then the privilege would definitely be given to the ostriches. Speaking of fragileness, the legs of an ostrich can be a deadly weapon; they can easily kill a man with their legs and a lion as well! They have two toes which is strange considering that birds usually have three or four toes.

 

Ostrich Bird
Ostrich bird, Cape of Good Hope

However, their bigger toe is the one that should worry us because it has a huge nail with which they rip their prey. You don’t want to mess with ostriches, their low kick is incredibly strong. If you do get in danger, my advice is: NEVER RUN. Ostriches can achieve the speed of 63 km/h and their footstep can be even 5 m long. What you SHOULD do is to lie on the ground, cover your head with your hands and pray that they don’t step on your back because they weigh around 145 kg.

Do ostriches really bury their heads in the sand?

We all know the phrase when a man tries to avoid the truth, we say ” he buried his head in the sand like an ostrich” but little do we know that such a phrase is in fact a myth. Nevertheless, ostriches never hide their head in the sand. If they are in danger, their tactic is to put their head on the ground or sand to be less visible or when they move eggs which are put in small holes in the sand and all of that creates an illusion for people who look at them from a distance.

Ostrich egg

Why this bird is special is indeed for her eggs. An ostriches egg weighs around 1.7-2 kg. It takes around 2 hours to cook one egg with which you can feed an entire football team. In fact, this giant egg is so strong you can even stand on it, which makes you wonder, how can a little baby ostrich pierce its shell?

Me standing on ostrich egg at Cape Point Ostrich Farm

That is when the male ostrich steps up his game and with his chest he presses the egg and therefore helps the baby ostrich come out. Ostriches eat everything that’s why they’re so strong. Apart from leaves, seeds, snakes and lizards they even eat sand and small stones. Believe it or not they have three stomachs.

Ostrich egg, Cape Point Ostrich Farm, SA

No matter how vigorous they are, I wouldn’t recommend you ride them, unless a couple of minutes of your excitement is more important than the health of these birds. If you are an animal lover, don’t do it! I like to call that sadism in the service of hedonism and I’m a huge opposer of having fun while others suffer. We visited a farm where that isn’t the case. In CAPE POINT OSTRICH FARM , they are enabled a life full of love and care. Their only threat are the baboons from whom they’re protected because in Cape Town you have an organization called THE SOUTH AFRICAN BABOON FORUM  which supervises baboons and keeps them away from the farm and in that way protect ostrich eggs.

Ostrich chicks

Ostrich leather

Ostriches are also popular in fashion. In 2015, Louis Vuitton made a purse collection titled Ostrich Capucines MM collection. Ostrich skin has a high price on the market. It contains natural oil reservoirs that make, for example purses, resemble wine. The more you use it, the better they look.

Ostrich Leather
The most unique and finest types of leather on the market
Ostrich Louis Vuitton
Retreived from: au.louisvuitton.com

Art and geography

In addition  of our story I would like to tell you something about making art on ostrich eggs. In Africa, people usually draw wild animals, savannah sights, etc… on eggs! That got me thinking and I’ve decided to start up an international creative initiative. So, let’s imagine that the ostrich egg, or any other egg, is a canvas and that we can paint motives of countries and cities we live in. Let’s make an Internet collection with which we will connect tourism and art. Pictures of your egg (painted eggs!) can be send to this e-mail address tanja.miladinov@believeinunicorn.com and later on, the pictures will be published on Facebook on the page BELIEVE IN UNICORN. I am already excited about it so let’s get started!

Everything around us is creation which can be found even in the smallest things like expressing love to your partner or flapping your wings trying to seduce one, you choose…

But most of all, choose to make the world a little more artsy.

Eggs in South Africa
Coulorful eggs
Ostrich eggs, Swaziland
Eggs captured in Kingdom of Swaziland

About

“Believe in unicorn” is a divine universe that combines colour, scent and adventure. It consists of educational and emotional stories of faraway cities, exotic islands and all other fascinations the author experienced during her travels.

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2 Comments

  • Wow – what a wonderfully informative article on Ostriches, so much to know about these beautiful birds!
    I must admit that the picture of the ostrich leg gave me the impression that they are marsupials, or coming from the dinosaur’s age.
    Could it be that they are related to the ancient prehistoric dinosaurs?
    Would be curious to find out.
    Your international Creative Initiative sounds like a great idea, but where would one find ostrich eggs to draw on in Europe of Australia or Asia? A little hard to come by!

  • Hi Orion.
    Thanks a lot. I am not aware about ostriches relation to dinosaurs…Will google about that as well. Regarding International initiatives you can use any egg and just send to me photo of your work. Best wishes Orion.

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