Meet Linda, the National Zoo’s new ostrich

She’s 4 years old and 8 feet tall. Linda is the National Zoo’s new ostrich.

Linda has been at the Northwest D.C. Smithsonian facility’s Cheetah Conservation Station since November. She joins her cheetah, red river hog and sitatunga neighbors.

“It has been many years since we have worked with a large, flightless bird,” the zoo said in a news release. Zookeepers have cared for Abyssinian ground hornbills, Ruppell’s griffon vultures and Darwin the emu, who died in 2018.

Staff have been observing Linda’s behavior to learn more about her.

She’s 4 years old and 8 feet tall. It’s Linda — the National Zoo in D.C.’s new ostrich. (Courtesy National Zoo)

“While we are still getting to know Linda’s personality and quirks, we can already tell she is going to be a terrific ambassador for her species,” the zoo said.

But so far, she is alert, observant, social and enjoys interacting with her keepers.

“Just when we think we know what she’s going to do, she changes her routine and does something a little unexpected,” the zoo said.

Ostriches can weigh between 200 and 350 pounds, which make them too heavy to fly. When they need to flee because of danger, they can kick, flee or sprint at speeds of up to 43 mph. Ostriches are the fastest terrestrial bird species.

In the wild, Linda would eat plants and small animals, such as mice, frogs and insects. But at the zoo, she gets pellets fortified with vitamins and nutrients, as well as produce and insects.

When can you see this majestic land bird? Keep an eye on the National Zoo’s website and social media to find out when.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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