Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Bird kills Florida farmer with its 'murderous' claws

Big flightless bird kills its owner after stumble in Florida Florida man killed by his large, flightless bird deemed 'world's most dangerous'
Jeannette Daniel | 15 April, 2019, 07:58

The cassowary, which is native to New Guinea and Australia, is considered the most unsafe bird in the world with dagger-like claws up to 4 inches in length that can "slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick", the San Diego Zoo said on its website, adding that it is also the second heaviest bird on the planet topping out at 167 pounds.

The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department said it appeared the man had fallen and was attacked by the bird with its long claws.

According to authorities, Marvin Hajos was attacked by the bird, after he fell over near it. "When he fell, he was attacked", Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor told the Gainesville Sun newspaper.

Police are investigating the incident but say it is likely to be a "tragic accident".

The bird remains secured on private property. They are similar to emus, standing up to 1.8 metres tall and growing to up to 60 kilograms with black body feathers and bright blue heads and necks.

A second call came from another person at the scene who reported a medical emergency involving a large bird, said Lt. Joshua Crews of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

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The birds can run at speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour.

They're not usually found in the USA, but they are sought out by exotic animal lovers and do require a permit to own. The birds are native to New Guinea and parts of Australia.

Cassowarys are not traded for meat in the United States but are kept by some collectors.

'The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick.

To get the mandatory permit, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires cassowary owners to have "substantial experience" and meet specific cage requirements, spokeswoman Karen Parker told the newspaper.

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