out of area Cassowary kills man

To: Robin Hide <>
Subject: out of area Cassowary kills man
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2019 23:34:45 +0000
Some years back in Cairns (where Cassowaries used to be found on a popular walking track) we were told that joggers were particularly at risk as the rhytmhic pounding of feet seemed to offer a threat.

On Mon, 15 Apr 2019 at 09:04, Robin Hide <> wrote:

And attacks in Queensland:


Anderson, I. (1996). “Please beware the cassowary”... New Scientist. 151: issue 2046 - 07 September 96, page 5

                    Magazine section: This Week.                                                         


                    TOURISTS and local people in Queensland have been warned: don't

                    feed the cassowaries. A kick from one of these giant flightless birds

                    can maim or even kill. Cassowaries are becoming increasingly

                    dependent on people for food. And if a handout isn't forthcoming,

                    the birds may lash out with the long, spike-like claws on their feet.


                    "The situation has become just like that with the black bear in the

                    US," says Christopher Kofron from the Queensland National Parks

                    and Wildlife Service in Cairns. "The bears raid campgrounds looking

                    for food. The cassowary associates humans with food. It will give

                    chase when it sees a human."


                    Kofron has been investigating the number of attacks by the

                    southern cassowary, Casuarius casuarius, in Queensland. The

                    cassowary, a native of northern Queensland and Papua New

                    Guinea, is larger than an ostrich. It weighs up to 85 kilograms and

                    stands up to 2 metres tall. The bird is on the endangered species

                    list in Australia. Kofron warned of the growing dangers of getting too

                    close to cassowaries at the World Heritage Tropical Forests

                    Conference in Cairns this week.


                    So far this year, there have been 80 reports of attacks in

                    Queensland. In most cases the birds simply chased people rather

                    than assaulting them. Last year, there were only 46 recorded

                    attacks. "There's no doubt that the number of attacks is increasing

                    as birds become more and more dependent on humans for food,"

                    says Kofron.


                    At Mount Whitfield, near Cairns airport, walking trails have been

                    closed because of the frequency of attacks by two birds that live on

                    the mountain. But to Kofron the situation at Mount Whitfield

                    highlights the birds' plight. The birds migrated there during a

                    drought 20 years ago. Local people fed them and they stayed. Now

                    the mountain is cut off from suitable cassowary habitat by

                    deforestation and development. The birds, which normally feed on

                    fruit that falls from trees, are now almost entirely dependent on

                    humans for food and water. The story is repeated in other parts of



                    The birds are more likely to cause lacerations and scratches than

                    life-threatening wounds, but they can kill. "As far as I know the

                    cassowary is the only bird known to have killed a human," said

                    Kofron. "Only one death has been recorded in Queensland—a

                    16-year-old boy, who was attacking the bird, bled to death when his

                    throat was punctured." That was back in 1926. Since 1988, five

                    people have suffered serious injury.


                    Ian Anderson.





-----Original Message-----
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Monday, 15 April 2019 8:36 AM
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] out of area Cassowary kills man


In some parts of New Guinea they are kept as pets in villages, being used in traditional bride-price transactions.  Quite often there are reports of a villager being killed by one.


-----Original Message-----

From: Con Boekel <m("","con");" target="_blank">>

Sent: Sunday, 14 April 2019 7:11 PM

To: canberrabirds chatline <m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">>

Subject: [canberrabirds] out of area Cassowary kills man




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