By Kayla Epstein | The Washington Submit
A Florida man was killed on Friday by what ornithologists say is a particularly harmful hen. It was a cassowary – an unlimited, flightless hen round which even skilled zookeepers take precautions.
He raised the animal on his farm, together with different unique birds, authorities stated.
The person, who police recognized as Marvin Hajos, 75, owned the farm the place the cassowary was situated and the altercation befell. Emergency medical employees responded to a name about 10 a.m. Friday at a farm close to Alachua, Florida, in accordance with Lt. Josh Crews of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Workplace.
Hajos fell, they stated, and the hen attacked him, injuring him severely. He was transported to the hospital, the place he died.
Authorities are investigating the circumstances that led to his dying.
A lady who recognized herself as Hajos’ fiance advised The Gainesville Solar “he was doing what he beloved.”
The hen has been secured, authorities stated. The Sheriff’s Workplace stated they could coordinate with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Fee because the investigation strikes ahead. The FWC identifies cassowaries as “Class II Wildlife,” which might “pose a hazard to individuals.” The fee requires a allow for the sale, public exhibition, or possession of those animals.
Cassowaries, of which there are three species, are native to the tropics of Queensland, Australia and New Guinea. They’re a relative of ostriches, emus and rheas. Thick black feathers cowl their our bodies, from which a cobalt blue and vibrant purple neck protrudes, resulting in a head adorned with a keratin “casque,” or crest.
What makes them harmful are their ft. Three toes have pointed nails, essentially the most harmful of which is the center, which ends in a veritable dagger a number of inches lengthy.
“For those who had been kicked by a cassowary with that nail, it could do lots of injury to you,” stated Eric Slovak, assistant curator of birds on the Nationwide Zoo in Washington. “You’ll wind up within the hospital for certain.”
Cassowaries, whereas harmful, are usually reclusive, Slovak stated. Within the wild, they conceal deep within the rain forests, however they often encounter people once they come throughout a street or a neighborhood.
“It’s simply type of a giant, 200-pound, 6-foot hen roaming round consuming fruit all day,” Slovak stated.
The Nationwide Zoo’s cassowaries are on mortgage whereas their enclosures are reworked, however once they lived on the zoo, Slovak stated they took critical precautions with the birds. Their enclosures had been constructed with doorways and gates to separate them from the people who wanted to enter.
“At no time, ever, can we ever go in with the cassowary,” he stated. “Not as a result of they’re imply, however as a result of we all know how harmful they might be in the event that they obtained spooked for any motive.”
“I’d not perceive why anybody would need to hold a cassowary as a pet,” Slovak added.
There have been a handful of frightful encounters with the birds, largely of their native Australia, although the final identified dying occurred again in 1926, in accordance with Smithsonian Journal. In a 1999 examine, Christopher Kofron of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service tallied 221 cassowary assaults in that Australian state, and 150 had been on people.
Kofron famous that the assaults are inclined to occur “yearly” and that the birds most ceaselessly attacked once they had been anticipating to be fed by a human, or once they had been defending themselves, their meals or their offspring.
In 2012, an Australian vacationer named Dennis Ward was kicked off a cliff right into a physique of water by a cassowary when he and his household had been visiting Babinda Boulders in Queensland. “It simply got here straight as much as me, determined to select on me for some motive, I don’t know what for,” Ward advised The Cairns Submit.
“Subsequent factor, thump, I copped a boot within the again and I used to be tumbling down the financial institution,” Ward stated. “It was fairly excessive, about 7 foot. I hit this ledge close to the underside and bounced off into the drink.”