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Can Ostriches Swim? Everything You Need to Know!

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Ostrich about to go for a swim

From geese to ducks, and from penguins to swans, you would think that all birds could swim. From what we’ve seen, most feathered creatures seem to enjoy being in the water and swimming. However, that brings up the question, do all birds swim? Can ostriches swim? The answer is yes! While ostriches can’t fly, these gigantic creatures can swim.

While it’s rare to see these birds swimming, they do enjoy the water from time to time. It’s interesting to note that ostriches swim in the same way they run, with their legs moving in the same pattern. In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about ostriches swimming and a little bit more.

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How Do Ostriches Swim?

Baby ostriches swimming in shallow water
Image Credit: polyfish, Pixabay

As previously stated, ostriches swim by moving their strong legs in the same pattern they use to run away from predators. It’s thought that these birds like the water and will take a swim in order to cool down in the heat of the summer sun. If they keep their heads above the water, swimming actually comes easily to this type of bird.

Now that we know that ostriches can swim, we’ll talk a little about some things you might not have even known about ostriches below and answer a few questions about this gigantic bird as well.

Can You Ride an Ostrich?

While you can ride an ostrich, it’s important to note that it’s not the same as riding a horse. You’ll also not want to try riding an ostrich in the wild. These birds aren’t strong enough to use for hauling goods and traveling like some gigantic animals are, but you can find people riding them for fun in zoos and many animal parks.

It’s best if you don’t try to ride an ostrich in the wild. Instead, find a place that has ostrich rides and book an appointment to ride one of these beautiful creatures, where it’s safe to ride one, and trained professionals are nearby.

Are Ostriches Dangerous and Mean?

ostriches in a grassy field
Image Credit: Ernestovdp, Pixabay

While many animals have been domesticated, the ostrich might not be the best one to try and domesticate. While they are gorgeous creatures, they can be dangerous and mean when threatened or if they want to.

There are people out there who do try to domesticate this large bird, but they are highly trained, so it’s something you don’t want to try at home. If an ostrich feels like his environment or eggs are being threatened, then they will attack a human or anything else that gets in their path.

Believe it or not, there have been many instances reported of ostriches taking out animals such as lions and tigers, so it would have no problem attacking and taking out a human.

Why Are Ostriches Considered to be Dangerous?

The reason that ostriches are dangerous is partially because of their gigantic size, not to mention the fact that they’ve been known to take down and kill wild animals that are dangerous and huge in their own right.

The size and weight of an ostrich alone make him dangerous. Some ostriches can reach over nine feet tall and weigh in at over 330 pounds. The mothers of the species can be extremely protective and ferocious when it comes to protecting their eggs and little ones, as any mother would be.

It’s important to keep the reasons an ostrich can be dangerous in mind if you’re ever going to be around one in the wild for this very reason. They aren’t mean on purpose, but they will kill you if they feel you’re threatening them or their young.

Can You Keep an Ostrich as a Pet?


While breeding an ostrich in a captive environment is possible, it’s important to know a few things first. Things such as staying out of their direct line of sight when it’s mating season or when they have eggs are essential to domesticating ostriches and making sure you stay safe at the same time.

While you can keep an ostrich as a pet, you need to know a lot more about them than just thinking they are pretty birds.

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Final Thoughts

This concludes our blog on ostriches and whether they can swim or not. Yes, ostriches can swim, though it is a rare sight to see one doing so. If you’re going to try and domesticate, breed, and keep an ostrich as a pet, then you need to do your homework to ensure not only that you know what you’re doing but that you’re doing it in a way that isn’t dangerous to you, your family, or the ostriches in question.

Ostriches are gigantic, gorgeous creatures, and in our opinion, they’re best left alone in the wild where they belong.

Featured Image Credit: mbredl, Pixabay

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.