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Large, flightless bird attacks and kills its owner

Large, flightless bird attacks and kills its owner

The bird has four-inch claws that are likened to daggers.

About 10:30 a.m., authorities received a call from a witness stating the man fell and had been attacked by the bird at a property off Alachua County Road 235 - northwest of the University of Florida in Gainesville - where the cassowary and other captive wildlife are housed.

Marvin Hajos, 75, died in hospital after he was attacked on his property in Alachua, about 120 miles northwest of Orlando, in what police described as a disgusting accident.

Cassowary are among the largest and heaviest bird species in the world and can grow to over 6ft and weigh more than 60kg.

The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department said a cassowary killed the man on his property near Gainesville, apparently using its long claws.

"When he fell, he was attacked".

Speaking to local media, Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor said: "It looks like it was accidental".

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The Sheriff's Office have treated the death as a tragic accident.

The San Diego Zoo's website calls the cassowary the world's most unsafe bird with a 10cm, dagger-like claw on each foot. It can run up to 31 miles per hour through dense underbrush, jump nearly 7 feet into the air and is a skilled swimmer, so it can deftly fend off threats, the zoo says.

"The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick", states information from the San Diego Zoo.

They're not usually found in the U.S., but they are sought out by exotic animal lovers and do require a permit to own.

According to initial reports, the man was breeding the birds, which are usually found in Australia and New Guinea.

The birds are not native to the USA and are usually found in Papua New Guinea and Australia and are bred for collection, rather than food.


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