Ostriches are one of the many animals that a cheetah hunts, and since both live in the same African habitats they may come across each other quite regularly. This video shows a near miss of a cheetah chasing down a group of ostriches. Watch how the speed of the ostrich is able to keep them a safe distance away from one of the fastest animals on earth. The ostriches even start chasing the cheetah away and turn the tables on the deadly cat.
The cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, able to go from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds. Ostriches are also extremely fast despite their size and have a max speed of around 40 mph. Even though cheetahs are carnivorous predators ostriches are still very risky animals for a cheetah to attack.
The largest cheetahs only get up to 160 pounds, which is much smaller than most ostriches they may come across. Ostriches are the fastest bird on land, and also the heaviest. Their size is just one of the many things that make them dangerous for animals.
How Dangerous Is an Ostrich?
The ostrich is considered one of the most dangerous birds in the world and is even able to kill apex predators like lions. Cheetahs like in the video should be very wary when going in for the kill on an ostrich.
If threatened ostriches are likely to fight instead of flee if they feel cornered. The legs of the ostrich are very powerful and capable of producing strong kicks. Each foot has a large claw able to cut open, and slash enemies. Ostriches are 5.6 to 9 feet tall and weigh between 140 to 320 pounds. Their size, speed, and ability to kick with a force of about 2,000 pounds per square inch are what make them such dangerous animals.
Ostriches are rare prey for cheetahs. Because of their danger cheetahs are likely to avoid hunting larger animals like ostriches unless hungry enough to risk getting injured for their meal. At their top speed, cheetahs are able to run for around 30 secs, which is very lacking compared to the ostrich, able to run 30pmh for up to 30 minutes or longer. Herds that ostriches live in have around 12 members and are another reason why cheetahs do not normally target ostriches.
Cheetahs Hunting Style
Since they are not very large, cheetahs rely more on their speed than power. Cheetahs hunt during the early morning and late afternoon. Sight is relied on heavily by cheetahs to spot prey. The spots covering their body allows them to camouflage in the dry grasslands they live in. Cheetahs sneak up on their prey and ambush them at their top speed when close enough.
Birds, warthogs, gazelles, rabbits, and goats are some of the animals that cheetahs eat. Only around 40 to 50% of hunts are successful, so the ostrich escaping is not that uncommon. Cheetahs kill their prey by attacking the neck, and with the right luck can take out animals as large as ostriches.
- 10 Incredible Cheetah Facts
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © paula french/Shutterstock.com
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