Large exotic bird kills an Alachua County man

Lamar Ellis
April 15, 2019

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.

"When he fell, he was attacked". "When he fell he was attacked", Jeff Taylor, deputy chief of Alachua County Fire Rescue, said. He said first responders got a call at 10 a.m. Friday and rushed the man to a hospital for trauma care but he died.

Alachua County Sheriff Department said the man was probably injured by the bird's claws.

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

Police added that the cassowary involved in the attack "remains secured on private property".

Cassowaries are large, flightless birds that are native to Australia and New Guinea.

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They have black feathers on their body and a bright blue neck and head. "Powerful legs help the cassowary run up to 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour) through the dense forest underbrush", the zoo said on its website.

The bird was reportedly being kept at the property as a pet.

Their long claws "can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick".

According to initial reports, the man was breeding the birds, which are usually found in Australia and New Guinea.

The birds are not native to the USA and are usually found in Papua New Guinea and Australia and are bred for collection, rather than food.

In order to own a cassowary, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires a person to obtain a permit, have "substantial experience", and have a cage meeting specific requirements.

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