Razor-clawed Cassowary That Killed Florida Man Is Put to Auction

April 24, 2019 Updated: April 24, 2019

A giant cassowary bird known for its sharp, dagger-like claws is set to be auctioned off after killing a Florida man.

Authorities believe Marvin Hajos, 75, was breeding cassowaries when he fell and was attacked by the razor-clawed bird earlier this month.

The cassowary is one of some 100 exotic animals from the deceased owner’s estate being put to auction.

Gulf Coast Livestock Auction said in a Facebook post that Hajos wanted the killer bird to go under the hammer.

“One of Marvin’s wishes was his animals be sold at auction as soon as possible,” the group said. “This is an absolute auction and complete dispersal of his animal collection.”

Please share to all your interested friends and your Fav animal pages. There will be no mail out flyers due to time…

Posted by Gulf Coast Livestock Auction on Friday, April 19, 2019

The auction is being billed as featuring “rare, odd, and unusual breeds.”

The flightless cassowaries are native to Australia and the island of New Guinea but are sought after by collectors of exotic birds in the United States.

Said by the San Diego Zoo to be the world’s most dangerous birds, cassowaries stand up to 6 feet tall and can weigh up to 130 pounds.

The giant birds have a long, dagger-like claw on each foot.

cassowary bird in zoo
A cassowary that is native to Australia and New Guinea rainforests at the Beijing Zoo, on July 20, 2012. (Mark Ralston/AFP/GettyImages)

Cassowaries also have a helmet-like bony structure on top of their heads, which gives the birds added protection in confrontations and makes for a potentially painful head butt.

“The protuberance called the casque, accentuates the air of menace,” said the narrator in a Planet Doc film documentary titled “Cassowary: The most dangerous bird in the world.”

“Their three-toed feet consist of sharp claws, the middle of which grows up to 12.5 centimeters (5 inches) long that they use to pierce animals and humans with a swift, fatal jumping kick,” said the narrator in a documentary titled “World’s Deadliest Bird” on the YouTube channel They Will Kill You.

Gulf Coast Livestock Auction Manager Jammi Wilson told the Gainesville Sun the business has all the licenses to auction off the exotic animals.

Besides two double-wattled cassowaries, The Sun reported that other animals on offer include ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs, patagonian conures, and Cuban tree ducks.

Media restrictions have been imposed on the auction, scheduled for Saturday.

“Anyone seen videotaping in any capacity will be deemed trespassing and will be escorted out by security,” the organization stated, according to The Sun.

‘Looks Like It Was Accidental’

The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department told the Gainesville Sun the cassowary probably injured Hajos using its long claws.

The elderly victim was taken to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

“It looks like it was accidental. My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell,” Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor told the newspaper. “When he fell, he was attacked.”

The county sheriff’s office said an investigation has been launched into the man’s death.

“Initial information indicates that this was a tragic accident for Mr. Hajos,” Brett Rhodenizer, a sheriff’s office spokesman, told the Gainesville Sun. “The cassowary involved remains secured on private property at this time.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires anyone wishing to own a cassowary to obtain a permit, have “substantial experience,” and have a cage that meets specific requirements.

Florida Fish and Water spokeswoman Karen Parker told the Gainesville Sun the commission believed the man was breeding the birds.

Kangaroo Attacks Paraglider

In related news, a paraglider in Australia was attacked by a kangaroo on March 7, 2019. Luckily, he suffered only minor injuries.

Jonathan Bishop landed near the old Orroral Space Tracking Station, formerly a NASA station built to support satellites in space for the agency’s Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network.

However, moments after he landed, a grey kangaroo quickly hopped toward him and attacked him without warning.

The footage shows the kangaroo striking Bishop with its paws twice before he shouted at the wild animal and it hopped away.

“As it ran toward me I thought it was being friendly so I said, ‘What’s Up, Skip?’” Bishop commented on a YouTube video of the attack. “It then attacked me twice before hopping away.”

Many people who watched the video online commented about the unpredictable behavior of kangaroos.

The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Richard Szabo contributed to this report.

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