For a long time, the Werribee Open Range Zoo had a relatively senior cohort of ostriches. The arrival of some feisty young males has “truly impressed” staff, the zoo said, especially when they break out their dance moves.
Video released by the zoo on September 16 shows the dancing behavior, which involves males dropping to the ground, fanning their wings and swaying from side to side.
According to zookeper Katie Jones, the dancing is a territorial or courtship behavior.
“Ostriches are typically nomadic but around breeding season we see an increase of territorial displays,” Jones said.
Older ostriches, she said, are happy to leave “the dancing to the testosterone-filled younger boys.”
Among those, the zoo said, is Frank, who is celebrating his 27th birthday soon.
“Ostriches have a lifespan of 40–50 years, so our older boys – Frank and Pinky – are roughly middle-aged,” Jones said. Credit: Werribee Open Range Zoo via Storyful