Ostrich Goes for a Stroll at a Local Park, Ends Up in the Animal Shelter

by Kati Kuuseoks
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Animals can end up in some sticky situations and some really unusual places. Remember that loose dazzle of zebras we reported on earlier last week? Turns out they’re still on the loose in Maryland. Then there was that giraffe (his name is Jax) showing up all the Instagram models on Santa Monica pier on Labor Day.

And what in the world are you supposed to do when you find yourself at a zoo and the staff tells everyone there’s a rhino on the loose? One option might be going full “ostrich.” Sticking your head in the sand and hiding, that is. Actually, speaking of ostriches, a German town got a pretty big shock when a couple of people stumbled upon a baby ostrich in the forest recently. Keep reading on to hear about its fate.

Germany: the Land of Beer, Bratwurst, and Ostriches?

When you find yourself on a forest hike, the National Parks Service always recommends being “animal aware.” A lot of our Outsiders find themselves in “Bear Country” and perhaps you do too. Bears, moose, coyotes. These are to be expected in the forests that they call home. They mind their business, for the most part, we mind ours, and “voila!” It’s a harmonious thing living with nature in peace.

Now, the baby ostrich in question wasn’t causing any trouble. The thing is, baby ostriches aren’t native to German forests (we bet you knew that already). So, when two passersby found the little chick, they needed to take a minute to make sure their eyes weren’t fooling them. The next order of business? Calling the Krefeld Fire Service to come and check out the 4ft6 creature.

Eventually, the bird found itself at the vet’s office. Here, a vet estimated the baby’s age at around the 4-to-5-month-old mark. Moreover, the vet cleared the Ostrich medically, saying it appears to be in good health and good spirits. Still, the mystery of its origin remains.

The vet made calls to the local Krefeld Zoo, but the response isn’t what they thought it would be. It turns out, the zoo’s animals are all accounted for and they don’t have any ties whatsoever to the ostrich. So, photos of the hatchling are circulating around the German press in the hopes that an owner will come forward eventually. They’re not necessarily in trouble for the bird’s escape. Instead, the community just wants the young ostrich returned to its home, where it belongs.

In the meantime, the ostrich finds a home in its own pen at an animal shelter. It’s hard not to catch the Cotton Eye Joe earworm in this situation. “Where did you come from? Where did you go?”

Here’s a photo of its new digs:

(Photo by Alexander Forstreuter/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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