Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why The Ostrich is Lovable, Mating, at Paradizoo

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

Okay, I know there are misgivings about zoos. But Paradizoo is so spacious and lovely, and the animals are the sweetest things ever. They don't look sad or feel caged.

I'm saying this because I love zoos. Everywhere we've been, I always ask my husband if we can see the zoo. I remember one zoo where a monkey was in a cage. The monkey loved to be touched. He put out his arms so we could touch him, then turned his back so we could rub it, then put his head against the cage. When we walked away he tried to follow us to the other end of his cage, so we went back and touched and rubbed him as much as we could.  That was a sad monkey and a bad zoo.

At Paradizoo you can see that the animals enjoy a huge space, and they love people. The ostrich had the sweetest face, ever. We fed it, and it seemed to be smiling.
That's our guide. He had 1,001 facts about every single animal, flower and organic vegetable grown in Paradizoo.

In this photo he is holding some seeds and the ostrich is bowing its head down to get it. It also is a sign of submission, most likely because the ostrich knows the guide well.

The ostrich looked so sweet and grateful after my husband fed it. Our pleasant guide, who is smiling in the middle, urged us to feed the ostrich with the seeds in our palms. He said it would only hurt a little. Well, I did and the ostrich bit enthusiastically, and it has no teeth but its beak had force. More than anything, I felt very bonded to this lovely big bird.

That's the sweetie in the shade. Some interesting things I learned about ostriches:

1. This one's a guy because it's black. The girls are brown.
2. Ostriches run when they're in danger. A single ostrich kick can kill a lion.
3. Ostriches don't really bury their heads in the ground. But when they're in danger they lie really flat on the ground so only their bodies show like mounds.
4. Ostriches can live without water longer than camels, because they get their water from the plants they eat. But if they see water, they'll drink it because like Mt. Everest, it's there.
5. Ostriches can carry people on their backs and some people have ostrich races.
6. If you're in a truck and an ostrich is running after you, you can push its neck to keep it away. That will work for awhile.
7. Ostriches use their wings for balance, especially if they're turning a curve.
8. The ostrich mating dance is quite romantic. In the video below, the black one is the male.