A man has been killed by the ‘world’s deadliest bird’ after he fell and it attacked him.
The victim was breeding cassowaries – large, flightless birds native to Australia and New Guinea – on his property near Gainesville, Florida, when he met his death, authorities said.
Cassowaries are similar to emus and can reach up to 6ft in height and weigh up to 60kg. Described by some as the world’s deadliest bird, they have a dangerous four-inch claw on each foot
The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department said it appeared the man had fallen and was attacked by the bird with its long claws.
Deputy chief Jeff Taylor said: “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.”
Cassowaries are not raised for food in the US but are sought after by collectors.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Karen Parker said in order to get a mandatory permit, cassowary owners must have “substantial experience” and meet specific cage requirements.
The San Diego Zoo website calls cassowaries the world’s most dangerous bird, saying: “The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick,” the website says.
“Powerful legs help the cassowary run up to 31mph through the dense forest underbrush.”