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'World's Most Dangerous Bird' Kills Its Breeder

Marvin Hajos, 75, was killed by a cassowary
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2019 12:50 PM CDT
   (Wikimedia Commons (Paul IJsendoorn))

(Newser) – A Florida bird-breeder was killed Friday when he fell down near the world's most dangerous bird, the Gainesville Sun reports. Police say Marvin Hajos, 75, was attacked by a cassowary, a 6-foot-tall flightless bird endowed with razor-sharp claws. Hajos was able to call 911 and another person on the same Alachua County property called soon after, but Hajos later died at a nearby hospital, per CNN. "It looks like it was accidental," says a fire official. "My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked." Two birds were on the property but it was unclear whether both attacked Hajos, per USA Today.

Native to Australia and New Guinea, the cassowary "is rightfully considered the most dangerous bird in the world!" says the San Diego Zoo website. "Each 3-toed foot has a dagger-like claw" that can "slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lists the bird along with other Class II wildlife, like alligators and wolverines, and says it must be housed within "specific cage requirements"—but the FWC doesn't regulate their breeding. Hajos was likely raising the bird to be bought by a hobbyist seeking an exotic pet. "He was doing what he loved," says a woman on the property who told reporters Hajos was her fiance. (Read more birds stories.)

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