We lost our chance of ever running with (and from) the dinosaurs about, oh, 65 million years ago. So for that authentic Jurassic chase, running with an ostrich may be the closest you’ll ever get.  

While visiting South Africa, Zurich-based Google employee Oleksiy Mishchenko filmed this crazy scene with his GoPro along the coast of the Cape of Good Hope. 

Mishchenko noticed a male and female ostrich on the side of the road as he and his friends cycled past. Then, seemingly without warning or reason, the male ostrich jumped into action and gave chase. As you can see in the video, the bird has no trouble keeping pace at about 30 miles per hour (48kph). And that's not really surprising – the birds top out at around 43mph (70kph)!

“It didn't cross my mind that it could be a threat, the guy seemed totally cool. I don't think he was scared, because he didn't try to change directions or escape," Mishchenko told National Geographic

He also noted that while the action played out close to an ostrich farm, the footage was actually captured within the boundaries of the Table Mountain National Park, so just where the ostrich sprinter came from is anyone’s guess.

Biologist and University of Minnesota professor of African wildlife Craig Packer also weighed in on the strange situation. “I have never seen anything like this before, we don't know what was going on in that bird's mind”. 

Packer goes on to speculate that perhaps the male bird simply got “caught in traffic”, as animals sometimes do around people.


Top header image: ram nair, Flickr