A cassowary has attacked and killed its owner after the man accidentally fell on his farm in Florida. State wildlife officials said that the victim, 75-year-old Marvin Hajos, appears to be breeding the birds.
Cassowary Attacks Suspected Bird Breeder
The giant bird killed the man on Friday on his property near Gainesville, possibly using its long, sharp claws.
Authorities said the first responders got a call at 10 a.m. Hajos was then rushed to a hospital, but he eventually succumbed to the injury inflicted by the flightless bird.
"My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked," Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor said.
Sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Brett Rhodenizer said the bird involved in the incident is currently secured on private property.
World's Most Dangerous Bird
The cassowary stands up to 6 feet tall and weighs up to 130 pounds. It features black body feathers and a distinct blue head and neck.
The cassowary is the second heaviest bird in the world. It is also the most dangerous.
It has daggerlike claws on its inner toes that can grow up to 4 inches long. A single kick can slice open a potential threat.
Escaping an attacking cassowary is no easy feat. The bird may not have the ability to fly like other smaller birds, but it can run up to 31 miles per hour. It can also jump nearly 7 feet into the air and is a good swimmer.
The bird is native to Australia and the island of New Guinea, but it is bred in other parts of the globe.
Sought After By Exotic Bird Collectors
Parts of the cassowaries are eaten in New Guinea, but breeders in the United States do not raise cassowaries for food. This close relative of the emu, however, is sought after by exotic bird collectors.