The April Fool Archive

Ostrich Buries Its Head in the Sand    (April Fool's Day - 1994)

The Daily Mail published a photograph showing an ostrich burying its head in the sand, under the headline "The picture that will give all sceptics the bird." An accompanying article explained:

Despite years of trying, wildlife experts had been unable to find a single witness to confirm that the world's largest bird indulges in the extraordinary habit featured in the saying. Today, however, the Daily Mail can reveal that it does. Our picture means the sceptics can bury their heads in the sand no longer. It was taken by British wildlife photographer Jones Bloom, who ventured into the heart of Africa in his quest for the truth. He made contact with the Chostri Setear, a little-known tribe of the central Kalahari region whose members understand the ways of the ostrich better than any other people on earth... This week, after four years spent trying to win the tribe's confidence, Bloom was at last invited to accompany the Chostri Setear on a hunting expedition deep inside Ofolri Lap National Park...
'It was an astonishing experience,' Bloom said yesterday. 'For three hours we crept through the bush. When at last we spotted an ostrich, the lion cub ran straight at it. As soon as the bird saw it, it dived beak-first into the sand.'
As the photographer moved in to take his historic picture, the lion began to roar and the tribesmen bellowed their victory chant.
'Yet through it all,' said Bloom, 'the ostrich remained immobile, head buried, apparently convinced it had become invisible.
'At least I didn't have to ask it to keep still for the camera.'

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