Are Ostriches Dangerous? Attacking Behavior

Are Ostriches Dangerous

Farming Base ( is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.

There are many traits that make an ostrich a unique bird. Ostriches certainly do not look or behave like most birds, therefore, people want to know more about them.

They are the largest and fastest running birds on the planet. Even though they are classified as birds, they can not fly.

People and kids fear these giant birds when visiting zoos leaving them with questions like are ostriches dangerous? Do they attack humans?

Ostriches are unpredictable birds, it is hard to understand what they are feeling at the moment and how would they react to certain actions.

Having said that, these birds are also quite shy, unless threatened, they live peacefully without interfering in anyone’s business.

Ostriches are better equipped for fighting thanks to their giant size and strong legs. Primarily found in Africa, so, their appearance and behavior are also affected by environmental factors.

Their appearance makes them dominating and intimidating, which often comes across as mean.

So, answering the most commonly asked question, are ostriches dangerous? Here’s what you need to know before your next encounter with the bird.

Are Ostriches Dangerous?

Yes, they can be dangerous, especially when you startle an ostrich, expect a strong reaction or a powerful kick.

Ostriches have strong muscular legs and their feet have a hoof-like shape. When breeding an ostrich in captivity, it is better to know its behavioral tendencies first. They are considered dangerous and rude because of their size and weight.

They weigh roughly 150 kilograms or 330 pounds and can grow to be 9 feet tall. These large birds and their sheer appearance can be quite intimidating for an onlooker.

Particularly, mother ostriches are ferocious and protective of their eggs and young ones. They protect young ostriches fiercely.

Though it is rare to keep them as a pet, if you plan to breed them, the owner needs to be well versed in understanding their psyche.

When cornered, an ostrich can deliver dangerous, solid kicks capable of killing large predators like lions and wolves.

Though not many deaths are reported from kicks and slashes, an ostrich can potentially kill you with powerful kicks.

They usually attack when provoked by human beings.

Related How Much Does An Ostrich Cost?

Why Are Ostriches Considered Dangerous?

Ostriches are considered dangerous as they are powerful enough to kill a person.

They are tall and heavy birds and flaunt a 2m wide wingspan to appear even bulkier. These birds intimidate people with their appearance and running ability.

An ostrich is nearly twice as massive as humans. On average, humans weigh 70 kgs and grow to be 6 feet tall.

Even if we do not take size into account, the ostrich can outrun and fight humans and predators better.

They have strong leg muscles with a scaly appearance. Their legs can land a powerful kick as a self-defense strategy.

The hoof-like foot is evolved from a 4-toe ratite foot for better walking and running skills.

Each foot has a 10-cm-long talon, however, it is not strong, it has a more striking power than the average horse.

Humans can not kick with the same intensity as ostriches. It is impossible for a human to outrun an ostrich.

Moreover, ostriches have better vision, they can detect a predator from miles away.

According to National Geographic, Ostriches are better equipped and powerful than humans, so that’s the reason they are considered dangerous.

Despite all the power and strength of this huge birth, no death caused by an ostrich has been reported.

ostrich dangerous

Can An Ostrich Hurt You?

In a rarer than a rare possibility, if someone has been raising a pet ostrich, he needs to be aware of the behavioral pattern of an ostrich.

They get frightened really easily and quickly. Ostriches are not very smart, so, if they feel any stress, pain, or threat, they will react accordingly and can potentially hurt you.

These huge birds are known for using their legs when the time is right. Since it is not possible to gauge their mood, so, it is better to watch and admire their appearance from a distance.

Why Do Ostrich Attack?

They do attack humans and predators when they feel threatened. Though these attacks are not frequent, it does not mean that they do not indulge in a showdown.

There are many reported incidents of ostrich attacking humans, however, they do not eat people.

As per the ornithologists, an ostrich becomes quite dangerous and more likely to attack in the following situations


If the bird feels threatened, provoked, or scared when a human comes too close or invades its space, the ostrich will get frightened.

Especially when a human touches an ostrich, the ostrich will try to run away, if escaping is not an option, there will be no choice but to defend itself.

The cornered ostrich will try to land a powerful kick on the human stomach. The kick can cause deep laceration as it is about 2000psi in pressure.

Breeding Season

Like many other birds and animals, the ostrich gets aggressive during the breeding season.

As they are experiencing a surge in testosterone levels, the hormonal imbalance leads to extreme aggression.

During this season, they spread their wings as a warning sign on the slightest approaches.

When protecting their eggs and hatchlings, they would not even warn but attack directly.

Be it a predator or a human being, they would not shy away from attacking everyone. Be extra careful and do not go near ostriches during the breeding season.


Even before or after the breeding season, ostriches are very territorial and aggressive birds.

When male ostrich reaches puberty, they become even more aggressive.

Ostrich does not like anyone invading their space, if someone does that, they will likely welcome him with a powerful kick.


Ostriches are big, goofy-looking flightless birds quite aggressive by nature. You would not want to provoke one as they deliver the deadliest kicks. They are capable of biting you when there is no escaping route left. Stay away from their straight line of view and be careful not to go near them especially during the mating season.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.