'World's most dangerous bird' kills man
A Southern Cassowary has killed a man following an attack at his home in Florida, where he kept the bird as a 'pet'. Police found Marvin Hajos badly wounded by the cassowary when they were called to his property on Friday 12 April, with the bird having attacked the man after he fell over. Hajos was taken to hospital by paramedics, where he later died from his injuries.
The victim had been breeding the species, which is native to Australasia, in his home. Southern Cassowaries are notorious as the "world's most dangerous bird", according to San Diego Zoo, who also explained that the birds "can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick". Alachua County Sheriff Department said the man was probably injured by the bird's claws and, while police are investigating the incident, they say initial information suggests it was a "tragic accident".
Southern Cassowary claws can grow up to four inches in length (Keith Allen).
Jeff Taylor, deputy chief, said in a statement: "It looks like it was accidental. My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked." Police added that the cassowary involved in the attack "remains secured on private property".
A woman, who identified herself as the victim's partner, told The Gainesville Sun newspaper that he had died "doing what he loved". The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lists Southern Cassowary as Class II wildlife which can "pose a danger to people" and require a permit for ownership.