Florida Man Killed By Cassowary, Known as 'World's Most Dangerous Bird'

Cassowary attack:

Cassowary attack: "World's most dangerous bird" kills its Florida owner

Authorities pronounced an elderly Florida man dead Friday after he was attacked by his pet cassowary bird.

Officials said the death was an accident.

The Florida man was attacked by the cassowary after he accidentally fell down near the bird.

The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department told the Gainesville Sun that a cassowary mauled Hajos when he fell.

The birds are closely related to the emu, and are "rightfully considered the most unsafe bird in the world", according to the San Diego Zoo website.

"When he fell, he was attacked", he added.

Cassowaries typically live in the rainforest in New Guinea and some parts of Australia. He said first responders got a call at 10 a.m. Friday and rushed the man to a hospital for trauma care but he died.

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Cassowaries can grow to 6-feet tall and weight in at about 130 pounds. A second call came from another person at the scene who reported a medical emergency involving a large bird, said Lt. Joshua Crews of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. The flightless birds have a four-inch claw on each foot, which earned them the recognition of "world's most unsafe bird" from the San Diego Zoo.

"The cassowary is rightfully considered the most unsafe bird in the world!" the zoo says. It can slice open its predators with a swift kick, according to the San Diego Zoo website.

The San Diego Zoo says that they're skilled swimmers, which helps them fend off threats.

To obtain a mandatory permit, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires cassowary owners to have "substantial experience" and meet specific cage requirements, spokeswoman Karen Parker told the newspaper.

While the goal of the deadly avians on his farm has not been officially confirmed, cassowaries are not generally raised for food in the U.S. More likely, Hajos hoped to sell them as exotic pets.

She said the commission lists the cassowary as a type of wildlife that can "pose a danger to people".

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