What Eats An Ostrich? 5 Common Predators

Whether it’s wild or not, animals hunt and get hunted a lot. Or it would be more appropriate to say that both animal and birds hunt and gets hunted by fellow animals and birds. Millions of birds and animals hunt and hunted down every single day.

The animals and birds attack and kill each other for food mainly.

As per a very rough observation, animals hunt and get hunted more frequently than birds. Birds are a little hard to catch as they can fly away in a second.

The wounded, injured, or trapped birds are another case. They are easy to catch, attack, and kill. The birds that live in captivity are also not that hard to attack.

Well, then there are some flightless birds or in simple words birds that can not take a flight.

These are the big birds that have wings yet they get called flightless. Their wings are just too weak to take them up high in the sky.

These big birds have impressive height, weight, and stamina. Most of them are known for their habit of chasing and attacking humans, fellow birds, and animals as well.

For this and a million other reasons, they have been living in the wild. A few of them can be forced to live in captivity but under special conditions.

What can be a better example of these birds than ostriches, right? Ostriches do have an impressive appearance and it appears that they can attack but can not be attacked. Well, this is not the case. Ostriches can attack, get attacked, and be killed quite easily.

Ostriches rarely attack for food as they prefer eating plant matter, however, they get attacked the most.

What Eats An Ostrich?

The common ostrich predators are;

  • Cheetahs
  • Lions
  • Crocodiles
  • Hyenas
  • Wild Dogs

1. Cheetahs

cheetah

Cheetah, the largest cat, is taken as one of the most powerful and the fastest land animals.

This wild animal is native to Africa and Central Iran. This largest wild cat can be recognized by a creamy white coat covered with evenly spaced solid black spots.

This large wild cat has a small rounded head, short snout, deep chest, and thin legs, long tails.

Cheetahs are more active during the day, they search for their prey. As the said large cat is not as powerful as lions, Haynes, and vultures, they attack, kill, eat and flee away immediately.

Despite being not so powerful enough, Cheetahs can attack and kill many animals and some big birds including ostriches.

Cheetahs just do not go by chance to kill gazelles, impalas, medium-sized antelopes, hares, rodents, and big birds like ostriches.

Since this post is about ostriches, Cheetahs first stalks down the said bird, charge towards the bird, and bite its throat until the ostrich suffocates to death.

2. Lions

The lion is a muscular large cat that is native to Africa and India.

This member of the cat family evolved around 190,000 to 320,000 years ago and it has been ruling the wild ever since.

This powerful wild cat inhabits Savannas, dry deciduous forest, shrubland, and grasslands.

Lion is taken as one of the powerful predators, it has the stamina to bring down most of the wild animals.

It rests around 20 hours of the day and begins searching for the prey after dusk.

Lions have a habit of hunting ungulate mammals, plains zebra, African buffalo, giraffe, and blue wildebeest, etc.

If lions can not find any suitable prey they can hunt down the ostriches as well. However, lion hunting down an ostrich is a little less common.

Like cheetahs, lions chase their prey, and upon finding an opportunity they pounce on.

Lions kill the ostriches and other prey animals by breaking their neck or suffocating it by clamping their jaws around the bird/animal’s neck.

3. Crocodile

crocodile

The semiaquatic reptiles that are known as crocodiles are found in the tropics of Africa, Asia, Australia, and America.

It is important to mention here that the term “crocodile” is loosely used for alligators, caimans, false gharial, and gharial, etc.

It must be kept in mind that only true crocodiles attack ostriches, so others must not be taken as ostrich predators.

Crocodiles also happen to hunt a lot for food and it is believed that their physical characteristics make them powerful predators.

Crocodiles usually look for bigger prey, it’s one of the reasons why ostriches get attacked. Ostriches might have powerful legs but surviving a crocodile attack is super hard.

4. Hyenas

hyenas

Hyenas, another powerful ostrich predator, originated in the jungles of Miocene Eurasia about 22 million years back.

This wolf-like creature is widely distributed in north, northeast Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

This ostrich predator is extremely hardy. It is often found surviving in the woodlands, savannas, grasslands, forest edges, sub-deserts, and mountains.

Like lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, and wild dogs Hyenas do not also spare the chance to attack, kill, and eat the ostriches.

Ostriches are not that easy to be taken down as they deliver powerful kicks. Yet hyenas find a moment to attack when ostriches are roaming around carelessly.

Most of the time this deadly attack ends with ostriches losing a life.

5. Wild Dogs

wild-dog

Many breeds of dogs are living in the wild. All of these wild breeds are taken as legitimate ostrich predators.

It is easy to judge that an ostrich is far more powerful and taller than the Wild Dogs. They have a habit of hunting animals in packs.

These dogs can’t hunt an ostrich or any other bigger prey alone.

So, a pack of wild dogs chases the ostriches until they find a suitable condition to attack.

Upon finding the opportunity, all Wild Dogs in the pack pounce altogether and do not step back until the ostrich or other prey is killed.

Let alone ostriches, the wild pack do not even mind attacking, killing, and eating antelopes, wildebeest calves, impala, and gazelles.

In brief, ostriches might be the world’s largest birds but that does not mean they can not be hunted down.

The ostriches living in the wild attack but they hardly kill any fellow animal or bird for food. However, they get hunted down for food quite a lot. Their biggest predators are Cheetahs, Lions, Crocodiles, Hyenas, and Wild Dogs.

  • Shumaila Ijaz is a Livestock expert and animal breeder. She has her own local farms for breeding and livestock nourishment. She is a research writer and answers the questions of readers.

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