Emu-like bird accidentally kills 75-year-old owner in Florida

Updated: Apr 16, 2019, 13:07 IST | Agencies

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

The cassowary remains on Hajos' property. Representation pic/AFP
The cassowary remains on Hajos' property. Representation pic/AFP

Houston: The 75-year-old owner of a farm in Florida was attacked and killed by a giant flightless bird that is considered one of the world's most dangerous, US media reports said on Monday.

Marvin Hajos was killed by a cassowary, a huge bird with long claws on each foot, after he fell in the backyard of his Gainesville, Florida, home on Friday, officials told CNN. Hajos was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died. The cassowary remains on Hajos' property as authorities conduct an investigation into the attack. The owner was a breeder of the rare bird that is native to Australia and New Guinea. The death was an accident, officials said. It appears the man fell, and the cassowary attacked him after the fall, Taylor said.

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. Owners must also have "substantial experience" with the animals, the commission says.

7ft
Height to which cassowary can jump to

What is a cassowary?

The cassowary is a "large, flightless bird most closely related to the emu," according to the San Diego Zoo. It can run up to 31 mph (50 kmph) through dense underbrush, jump almost 7 feet into the air and is a skilled swimmer, so it can deftly fend off threats. They can grow more than 5 feet tall and the heaviest females can weigh more than 72 kg. Males weigh up to 54 kg.

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