WASHINGTON — There's a new 8-foot-tall resident at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! Linda the ostrich came to the zoo in November, and keepers there say she's keeping them on their toes.
Cheetah Conservation Station keeper Tallie Wiles says that while the zoo has worked with many bird species, it hasn't been home to a large flightless bird for many years, and Linda is a first for many of the zoo's staff.
Linda is 4 years old, and keepers at the zoo are still getting a feel for the newest member of the family.
"While we are still getting to know Linda’s personality and quirks, we can already tell she is going to be a terrific ambassador for her species," Wiles wrote in a blog post.
Keepers are still working to prepare the outdoor habitat for Linda, and hope to have it ready for her soon. But visitors to the zoo will have to wait a little bit longer to see Linda in person. There's no word yet as to when Linda will make her debut.
According to the zoo, adult ostriches can weigh between 200 and 350 pounds. The ostrich is too heavy to fly, but has powerful legs that it can use to run up to 43 mph! Ostriches are the fastest bird on land.
In nature, ostriches eat plants and small animals including mice, frogs and insects. At the zoo, Linda receives pellets that are fortified with vitamins and nutrients, as well as a variety of produce and some insects.