The Most Dangerous Bird in the World
Most Australians have a healthy respect for our dangerous animals – things like our spiders, snakes, sharks and so on. Even many visitors are warned before entering Australia about the dangers lurking around every corner.
What most people do not realise is that we also have what is considered by many to be the world’s most dangerous bird.
The Southern Cassowary of Papua New Guinea and northern Queensland has caused at least one death. Its sharp claws are razor sharp, it has a propensity to attack with little provocation and is very large. An adult can be from 1.5m – 1.8m (5 – 6 feet) in height so we are not dealing with a little bush bird. For comparison, an Emu is slightly taller (1.5 – 2m) and the Ostrich slightly taller again (1.75 – 2.75m)
There is a very interesting and quite long article about the Southern Cassowary on the Smithsonian website here. It poses the question: ‘Should Cassowaries be fed or feared?’ Personally, if one walked into my garden I’d excitedly photograph it from every window of the house with a view of the visitor, and then ring the local zoo to come and collect it. When it comes to hungry cassowaries I think I’d be wary and just a bit of a chicken. (I will not apologise for those awful puns!)