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Wild Cassowary near Kuranda , Queensland

Photo taken in May, 2007.

Wild Cassowary near Kuranda , Queensland
snowleopard, 23 Jun 2008
birdsandbats likes this.
    • snowleopard
      Photo taken in May, 2007.
    • okapikpr
      Holy s___! You are lucky to still have your abdomen intact!
    • dean
      I was told by our guide in 2001, that only one person has been killed by one of these birds, and that was a child who was walking his dogs who tried to chase the bird which having chicks turned and knocked the lad over as she ran.
      One of her claws cut his neck and he bled to death where he lay no other marks on him.
      I'm sorry for the boy but hope the story was true in the sense of these birds not being vicious or deadly.
    • Chlidonias
      see here: http://www.zoochat.com/2/cassowaries-really-monster-killer-birds-disembowel-263583/
      and here: http://www.zoochat.com/844/cassowary-volunteer-audience-75801/
    • dean
      Thanks for the links chlidonias, interesting reading, it seams to me, -apart from the usual unpredictability one gets from wild animals and some domesticated ones too,- cassowarys have earned a lethal reputation from this one incident nearly 90 years ago.
    • Chlidonias
      no, their reputation comes from New Guinea. The idea of cassowaries being extremely dangerous far pre-dates the Queensland death, originating from the stories coming back in the 18th and early 19th centuries from European explorers and natural history collectors in New Guinea. In Thomas Gilliard's The Living Birds Of The World (1958) he writes (without substantiation) "There are many records of natives being killed by this bird." I don't have access to Rothschild's monograph but I suspect a lot of the reputation comes via that book.

      Having one documented death in Queensland does not equate to one death total.
    • Hix
      There was a visitor to Taronga Zoo, many decades ago, who died on the ferry ride back home after his visit. When they inspected the dead man they found deep lacerations on his belly, and he had in his bag a cassowary egg. The cassos at Taronga were nesting at the time and the (logical) assumption is that the man climbed in to steal an egg for his collection, and paid the price.
    • Chlidonias
      that was 32-year old Robert Cook in 1952 and while he was critically injured he did not die. Apparently he climbed over an eight foot high fence into the enclosure to (so he claimed) look closer at some junglefowl and he didn't realise there was a pair of nesting cassowary in there as well. He received a punctured lung, puncture wounds to the stomach walls, and wounds on the left cheek and in the back. Total injuries included at least 30 deep puncture wounds to the stomach, chest, legs and face. He managed to climb out of the enclosure, took the ferry back to Circular Quay (as one would when seriously injured), but collapsed at the wharf and was taken to hospital.

      The newspaper account from the time doesn't mention him having an egg on him.
    • Hix
      I must have heard the embellished version of the story. Still, it indicates how dangerous the birds can be.
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  • Category:
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    snowleopard
    Date:
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    Date / Time:
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