Man attacked by cassowary
A CASSOWARY expert says a man who was attacked by a cassowary was very lucky to escape without being seriously injured.
Rangers have captured and removed the adult male cassowary that attacked the man along Tully Gorge Rd, west of the town, on Monday night, August 8.
The man suffered only cuts and bruises.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) said the bird was a regular visitor to the area and was also reported to have been seen attacking the windows of houses.
An EHP spokeswoman said wildlife officers sedated the bird and placed it in a specially designed cassowary transport box for an overnight stay at the Garners Beach Rehabilitation Tuesday.
It was released into a remote section of Wooroonooran National Park, between Cairns and Innisfail, the following day.
The spokeswoman said it was likely the cassowary’s behaviour was the result of having been fed by humans.
Outside Magazine in 2013 cited death by cassowary as one of the top 10 worst ways to die in the wild, describing Australia’s largest bird species as “modern day velociraptors” with dagger-like claws.
Tully veterinarian Dr Graham Lauridsen said the man was very lucky to escape without serious injury, describing previous attacks upon people as “significant events.”
He said cassowaries that had regularly come into Cassowary Centre on contact with people tended to be more aggressive.
“It’s not like because they’re wandering past somebody and see them and want to bash them up,” he said.
“It’s normally to do with a feeding issue. They think people are a food source; they come in and get a bit cranky.
“Don’t feed them, and enjoy them from a distance,” he said.
The EHP spokeswoman said people living in or visiting cassowary territory could help protect the endangered animals by retaining vegetation on properties as cassowary feeding grounds and corridors; being careful when driving, slowing down and avoiding the animals; restraining domestic dogs; never feeding cassowaries, especially on the side of the road where they might be hit by passing cars; and letting cassowaries find their own food.
‘Modern day velociraptors’: the cassowary that attacked a man near Tully was relocated by Department of Environment and Heritage Protection rangers