Native Australian bird attacks and kills owner

Lester Mason
April 15, 2019

A 75-year-old man has been killed in Florida after he was attacked by a large flightless bird he owned.

The giant bird killed the man on Friday on his property near Gainesville, possibly using its long, sharp claws.

The cassowary is native to Australia and New Guinea, according to the San Diego Zoo, and it can easily take out an opponent when it feels threatened.

"My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell".

State wildlife officials say the victim was breeding the birds, the Associated Press reports.

According to authorities, Marvin Hajos was attacked by the bird, after he fell over near it.

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

The man, whose name was not released, had sustained "serious injuries" and was transported to a local hospital, said Alachua County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor in an email.

Rhodenizer said the cassowary that attacked Hajos was secured and remained on Hajos' property.

A woman at the property, who identified herself as Mr Hajos' partner, told the newspaper he had been "doing what he loved".

Cassowaries are similar to emus and stand up to 1.8-meters tall and weigh up to 60kg with black body feathers and distinctive, bright blue heads and necks. The birds are not raised for food in the USA, but are sought after by collectors of exotic birds, according to authorities. It can run up to 31 miles per hour through dense underbrush, jump nearly 7 feet into the air and is a skilled swimmer, so it can deftly fend off threats, the zoo says. A single kick can slice open a potential threat.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers cassowaries Class II wildlife, meaning they pose a danger to humans and are subject to specific cage requirements.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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