'World's Most Dangerous Bird' Kills Florida Man on His Farm

A file photo of a cassowary
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An emu-like creature known as the "world's most dangerous bird" reportedly killed its 75-year-old owner on his Florida farm.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said Marvin Hajos owned the flightless bird, called a cassowary. The sheriff's office called Hajos' death a "tragic accident," according to the Gainesville Sun. A woman who told the paper she was Hajos' fiancee said he was "doing what he loved."

The cassowary is native to Australia and New Guinea, according to the San Diego Zoo, and it can easily take out an opponent when it feels threatened.

"The cassowary is rightfully considered the most dangerous bird in the world! Each 3-toed foot has a dagger-like claw on the inner toe that is up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) long! The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick. 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 Alachua County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor told the Sun that Hajos fell near the bird and was then attacked and killed.

Permits are required to own cassowaries, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was notified about the attack. The FWC told the Sun that the man killed was breeding cassowaries.

The paper reported that a smaller exotic bird was found near the front gate of Hajos' farm.


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