Udaipur : State’s first, Sajjangarh Biological park here received two guests of the largest and heaviest bird species. The park saw a pair of ostrich on Sunday which have been brought from Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai. The male and female ostrich would be released in one of the enclosures in the natural habitat soon. With the feathered guests, the number of inmates in the park has rouse to 54. Recently a pair of Asiatic lion too was brought here from the Junagarh zoo in Gujarat.
“They are perhaps the first Ostrich pair in any of the zoos in the state and visitors would be thrilled to see the largest living birds” said Rahul Bhatnagar, the chief conservator of forest (wild life). The authorities have kept the birds in quarantine for some time to monitor their behaviour and make them accustomed with the zoo environment. Thereafter, they would be brought into public display with the inauguration expected by the end of the month. The world’s largest flightless bird is widely hunted for its feathers for decorative purposes, meat, skin and eggs. Considered the largest living bird species and the fastest with an average speed of 50 to 70 kms per hour, ostriches are mostly found in East Africa.
“ Ostriches weigh around 145 kilograms and an egg weighs about a kilogram. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run very fast” Bhatnagar said. Chennai’s zoo had 13 ostriches of which two have been given to Udaipur. “ Since they have survived, reproduced very well in Chennai so can they easily adapt to the Udaipur climate. Vets were consulted before the birds were brought in here” the officer said. The ostrich lays the largest eggs of any living bird. It is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat is marketed commercially.