In the line of duty, many different disguises have been used, from Batman’s pursuit of criminals as the Dark Knight to everyone’s favorite important worker from the pandemic. In order to keep the Chiang Mai Zoo up to date with their “wild animal management plan,” it recently fell to one man in Thailand to dress as an eight-foot ostrich and stage an escape.
It’s not unusual for people to dress as animals for dress rehearsal escapes. In 2019, the Tobe Zoo in Ehime, Japan, held a “lion escape” drill where a worker dressed as a less-than-convincing lion tried to escape while coworkers tried to contain them.
One could argue that the outfit for this more recent “ostrich escape” went above and above, though. Photos posted to the zoo’s Facebook page depict a person wearing a barrel-shaped body suit, white face paint, and an ostrich head transformed from a dunce cap.
The “ostrich” was participating in a training exercise designed to get zoo employees ready in case an actual ostrich ever escapes. At up to three meters (10 feet) tall and weighing as much as 140 kilograms (309 pounds), an escaping ostrich is a force to be reckoned with.
When disturbed, they have the ability to flee at terrifying speeds of up to 72.5 kilometers per hour (45 miles per hour). They can repurpose those legs as weapons if they are cornered, kicking and tearing with their taloned toes.
Ostriches are larger and heavier than cassowaries, despite the fact that they are typically thought of as the most hazardous bird in the world. They are capable of fending off powerful predators like lions and people in the wild.
Johnny Cash apparently came very close to passing out at the feet of an ostrich while out walking. After Cash attempted to beat it with a stick, the animal kicked him, narrowly missing disemboweling him owing to a heavy belt.
Although the zoo employee made for a charming ostrich, it’s likely that they weren’t quite up to the task of pegging it around the zoo at over 40 mph. As a result, their teammates were eventually able to catch the fugitive using a fishing net.