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Red-necked ostrich

Struthio camelus camelus

Female red-necked ostrich Maisy at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Struthionidae

We’re home to one red-necked ostrich: a female called Maisy. She lives opposite the giraffes here at Paignton Zoo.

A subspecies of ostrich, red-necked ostriches can be found in open fields and savannahs, especially in the Sahel region of Africa.

In the wild they have a diet of grasses, seeds, leaves and flowers.

Interesting facts!

  • The ostrich is the largest living bird. It cannot fly but its legs are strong and powerful, allowing running speeds of up to 50kph (31mph).
  • Ostriches are the only bird that has two toes on each foot. All other birds have three or four toes!
  • These formidable birds don’t need to drink water. They get all the water they need from the plants they eat.


Hunting and habitat loss are the main conservation threats to wild ostriches. Paignton Zoo’s ostrich, Maisy, is part of a worldwide captive breeding cooperation that aims to help the red-necked ostrich thrive in its natural habitat.