The Smithsonian’s National Zoo announced last week that it recently welcomed Linda, a four-year-old ostrich, to its Cheetah Conservation Station.
The new eight-feet tall resident arrived at the Zoo in November, according to a statement from the Smithsonian on Friday, February 4.
“Although our team cares for a variety of birds—namely Abyssinian ground hornbills, Karl and Karoline, and Ruppell’s griffon vultures, Tuck and Natelie—it has been many years since we have worked with a large, flightless bird,” the Zoo said. “Zoogoers may fondly remember our late emu Darwin, who seemed to enjoy watching visitors as much as they enjoyed watching him!”
At around 8 feet tall, the newest resident at the Cheetah Conservation Station towers over her cheetah, red river hog and sitatunga neighbors. Meet Linda, our 4-year-old ostrich, in this update from keeper Tallie Wiles! ✏️STORY: https://t.co/PpdDhv6F92. pic.twitter.com/GRoTYmrEyF
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) February 8, 2022
Most keepers at the Zoo will experience working with an ostrich for the first time. Hence they closely observe her behaviors.
Linda is quite social and observant, but she alerts the staff when she acts unexpectedly, changing her routine. Because ostriches tend to react by kicking if they feel threatened or may flee and sprint away at speeds up to 43 miles per hour.
Adult ostriches weigh between 200 and 350 pounds, and are the fastest species of bird on land, according to the Zoo.
The animal care team is preparing to exhibit Linda to visitors soon.