WASHINGTON – A large, flightless and highly dangerous bird called a cassowary killed its owner in Florida, news reports said.
The man was raising it and other exotic animals on his property in Alachua county in the north central part of the state, the local TV station WCLB said.
The breeder, 75-year-old Marvin Hajos, fell to the ground by accident Friday and the bird attacked him, the report said.
Cassowaries have a four-inch dagger-like claw on each foot, and are the world’s most dangerous bird, according to the San Diego Zoo website.
“The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick,” the website says.
Hajos was rushed to the hospital but died.
These birds are similar to emus, can be nearly 6 feet tall (1.8 m) and weigh up to 170 pounds (75 kg) in the case of females and somewhat less for males, according to the website.
With powerful legs, they can jump seven feet straight up in the air. Only ostriches are heavier in the world of birds. Cassowaries can run up to 31 mph.
The birds are native to Australia and New Guinea.