Watch: A Massive Ostrich Chases Down Cyclists in South Africa
“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
When it comes to birds, penguins just about trump them all in terms of the cute factor, the awe-inspiring factor, and the funny factor — and they can’t even fly. Another bird that can’t fly, the desert-dwelling ostrich, may be in the running for those last two spots, though, thanks to the viral video of a ginormous ostrich chasing a couple of freaked-out cyclists on a road through the Cape of Good Hope’s Table Mountain Park, at the southernmost tip of South Africa, on March 4th.
Though it seems hard to imagine that anyone would chase after an ostrich chasing anything, that’s just what the third cyclist accompanying the two, Oleksiy Mishchenko, did. He slowed down briefly to switch on his camera, then barreled after the speeding creature, who, on his 30 mph pursuit, resembles none other than the Road Runner himself—only bigger, scarier, and yes, even funnier.
Mishchenko, a Zurich-based Google employee on a week’s vacation, can actually be heard laughing at the bird while he was filming, though we kind of doubt the bikers being chased shared the same emotion.
According to National Geographic, Mischenko initially saw two ostriches, a male and a female, at the side of the road. As he approached, the male jumped on the road and started running after his friends.
Biologist Craig Packer, who teaches at the University of Minnesota and studies African wildlife, told National Geographic, “I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’ve never seen people on bicycles near ostriches before.”
Packer says there could be any number of reasons why this ostrich gave chase. It could have thought the cyclists were female ostriches, or even been trying to impress his girlfriend, an idea Mischenko suggested.
It doesn’t look like it was acting aggressively since it wasn’t lunging at the bikers, Packer says. “It’s so puzzling what’s going on.”
If that ostrich isn’t aggressive, we can’t wait for the video of an ostrich that is.