Ostriches at Monarto Zoo, South Australia
One of the interesting birds you can see at the Monarto Zoo near my home town of Murray Bridge is the Ostrich. The zoo boasts a large flock of this species and they breed readily in captivity.
Ostriches are native to Africa but there have been some feral populations in different parts of South Australia over the last century and a half. Originally they were imported and farmed for their feathers. These were used for decorations, usually in ladies’ hats. When this fashion quickly faded the industry declined and some birds were released and formed feral breeding populations, especially along the Coorong south east of Adelaide, and north east of Port Augusta. From time to time there are reports of small flocks still living in that area.
More recently there has been short lived resurgence in the farming of this species, this time as a meat bird.