Courtesy of Paul IJsendoorn / flickr
A captive casowar, the large, flightless animal considered the most dangerous of birds, killed a man on Friday near Gainesville.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is conducting a death investigation, spokesman Lieutenant Brett Rhodenizer said Saturday.
At around 10:30 am, authorities received a call from a witness claiming that the man had fallen and had been attacked by the bird in a property off Alachua County Road 235 – northwest of the University of Florida at Gainesville – where are the casowary and other wildlife in captivity. housed.
The man, whose name was not disclosed, suffered "serious injuries" and was taken to a local hospital, said Alachua County Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Taylor. an email. He died later.
It is not clear if the man was the owner of the property or an employee.
The cassowary diets consist exclusively of fruit, but each of the bird's three-toed feet hides a "dagger" -shaped claw on the inner end that can grow up to 4 inches long, according to information published in line through the San Diego Zoo. The birds are native to New Guinea and parts of Australia. A cassowary can also jump 7 feet in the air and run up to 31 mph.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission classifies cassowary as a Class II wildlife species, which means that they pose a threat to humans but may be possessed with a license.
"The cassowary can open a predator or potential threat in one quick shot," says the San Diego Zoo. "The cassowary is rightly considered the most dangerous bird in the world!"
According to the San Diego Zoo, Southern Casoars, the best-known of the three species of casoars, measure between 4 and 5.6 feet, with females weighing up to 167 pounds. Their regions of the head, neck and throat are featherless, revealing a bright blue skin. Helmets with keratin, or helmets, cover the heads of the three species.
Australian law considers Southern Casoary "endangered" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office coordinates with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in its investigation of the property.
"We seek to confirm our suspicions that it is a horrible accident for the man and his family," said Lieutenant Rhodenizer.