Florida man killed by large, flightless bird he kept on property: deputies

Florida man killed by large, flightless bird he kept on property: deputies

A captive cassowary, the large flightless bird considered the most unsafe of its species, killed a man Friday near Gainesville.

Marvin Hajos died from injuries suffered in the freaky attack by a cassowary, a flightless fowl with knife-like claws that can stand up to 6 feet tall and weigh more than 100 pounds, according to officials. On Friday, April 12, 2019, a cassowary, a large, flightless bird native to Australia and New Guinea, killed its owner when it attacked him after he fell on his property near Gainesville, Fla.

Authorities said 75-year-old Marvin Hajos appears to be in the vicinity of the cassowary when he fell and was attacked by the animal.

He said first responders got a call at 10am on Friday and rushed the man to a hospital for trauma care but he died.

A spokesman from the sheriff's office said "Initial information indicates that this was a tragic accident for Mr Hajos".

"The cassowary involved remains secured on private property at this time".

They have black feathers on their body and a bright blue neck and head.

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The cassowary is the second heaviest bird in the world.

They are usually between five and six feet tall and have a deadly claw on each foot of about 10 centimetres.

It says: "The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick".

Escaping an attacking cassowary is no easy feat.

The birds can run up to 30 miles per hour (50km/h) and have a five-inch claw on each foot. It can also jump almost 7 feet into the air and is a good swimmer.

Parts of the cassowaries are eaten in New Guinea, but breeders in the United States do not raise cassowaries for food. A special permission is needed to own cassowaries in the United States, which mandates that owners must have "substantial experience" in handling the birds and keep them caged.

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