MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Zoo Miami’s 27-year-old male ostrich named Red was found dead Wednesday morning by his keepers, zoo officials confirmed Friday in a news release.
According to the news release, a necropsy was performed by the Animal Health Department on Thursday, but a cause of death couldn’t be determined.
Still, zoo officials say there were several tissue samples submitted for more in-depth testing that will hopefully provide a better answer. Those results will be available in a few weeks.
According to the news release, Red arrived at Zoo Miami in August 1996 and was often seen sharing a habitat with the giraffes and zebras.
“He got his name from the red color that his skin would turn during the breeding season,” the news release stated. “He could also be heard making a characteristic ‘booming’ sound and then seen ‘dancing’ in front of his keepers as a form of courting them!”
Ostriches stand at over 7 feet tall and are the largest of the world’s birds. They are flightless, but can run over 40 mph.
“They have huge eyes that are actually larger than their brains,” the news release stated. “Though not particularly intelligent as a species, Red stole the hearts of his keepers with his antics. He was the last remaining ostrich at Zoo Miami and his loss has left a large hole in the hearts of his keepers and those who had the privilege of knowing him.”