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Cassowary Crossing

050505bAustralia’s most famous bird would have to be the cassowary, a huge (nearly five feet tall) flightless bird that is unfortunately on the endangered species list. It is estimated that the total Australian population of cassowaries is between 1,300 and 2,000 adults. There is an ongoing effort in Mission Beach to preserve the cassowaries with many areas marked as protected habitat. There are roadsigns posted all over Mission Beach warning drivers to drive cautiously around areas that are home to these birds. We were told that not long ago a speeding car hit and killed a cassowary. We also heard a man was killed by a cassowary when he tried to steal eggs from the mother’s nest. Apparently the cassowary punctured the man’s jugular with her huge talon and the man died.
Cassowaries are creatures of habit. Once a cassowary establishes its home range, it will regularly make its rounds. At the bed & breakfast we stayed at in Mission Beach, there is a cassowary that has for years been showing up nearly every morning for the pieces of fruit the owner puts out for him. Good thing, too, because that was the only time we saw a wild cassowary up close, and with his baby chick too!

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2 Responses

  1. Cristina says:

    Look at those big ol feet whoa

  2. Brian Que says:

    Very pretty birds. It’s like a cross between the peacock and an emu.

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