Leave it to Florida to have a man killed by a direct descendant of the Velociraptor that also happened to be his pet. Alachua County Fire Rescue Department reported to the Gainesville Sun that victim whose name is being withheld at this time was breeding the birds. Initial investigation results conclude that the victim fell somewhere in the vicinity of the bird which led to the attack. It’s unclear if the victim was running or being chased at the time that he fell.
The assailant bird is a member of the Cassorwary bird species similar to the Emu and grows to be an average 6 feet in height and can weigh up to 130 pounds. The flightless bird is a native of Australia and New Guinea. Authorities are not releasing any information on how he obtained the animal or if the operation he was running was legal.
I’m not sure if the victim had neighbors but I’m sure they would have wanted to know that world’s most dangerous bird, according to the San Diego Zoo website, was living next them. I know I would hate to come across a loose bird with a 4 inch claw on each foot while walking my dog. Or even if one of my children came across while playing outside.
The cassowary has the ability to “slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick and can run up to 31 miles per hour” according to the information on the zoo website. The website also offers a real interesting insight to breeding the birds. History has recorded zoo hatchings of the bird to be rare and difficult to accomplish.
The website states, “In 1862 and 1863, the London Zoo reported single hatchings, but neither chick survived. It was not until April 1957 that the first successful rearing of a cassowary chick in managed care was reported—at the San Diego Zoo. The baby’s father had lived here for 31 years before the successful hatch! His offspring lived for 15 years. Only one other cassowary chick has been hatched here; sadly, it only survived one day.”
Which leaves the question of just where did the victim get eggs? And how was he more successful at hatching them than zoos around the world? At this time wildlife officials have not made it public what has happened to the bird or if more birds were captured at the scene.