QUEENSLAND, Australia (WFLA) — Beachgoers in Queensland, Australia, were surprised when they found that they were joined by a colorful, and dangerous, animal.
According to the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science, the witnesses first thought an object they saw was a shark fin, but as it got closer, it soon became apparent that it was actually a cassowary.
“I ran down and waited for the cassowary to emerge from the ocean, and it must’ve been exhausted as it stood in the shade beneath a tree with its legs shaking for about half an hour,” said Nikita McDowell, Bingil Bay Campground host.
The bird, which is known for its colorful feathers and dangerous behavior, is native to New Guinea and northeast Australia, with a population of 4,000 in Queensland.
“We’re not sure how long this animal was in the water or why it went for a swim but the footage is astonishing,” Wildlife Officer Stephen Clough said.
According to the Library of Congress, the cassowary “is usually considered to be the world’s most dangerous bird” toward humans, posing a similar threat as ostriches and emus.
In 2019, a cassowary killed a man in Florida after he fell on his property. Officials said the victim was the bird’s owner.