The Cassowary Tales

The Cassowary is a flightless bird, found in Australian Rainforests. This huge bird is the most dangerous bird on earth, mostly because of his powerfull legs and spike-like toe, always ready for defending himself and offspring.

The unique feature is the helmet (casque): Grey in colour and slightly directed forward this vertical bony helmet protects the birds head as it makes its swift way through the thick undergrowth of the rainforest. The Cassowary is the only bird in the world to have any type of protective armour.

Much of Australian rainforest has now been cleared, and the Cassowary that remain are vulnerable to dogs, shooting, traffic when crossing roads, starvation and, possibly, disease (Tuberculosis and aspergillosis-related diseases) and nest predation and competition from feral Pigs. The main reason for decline in the southern Cassowary population has been clearance of the prime habitat, rainforests. Clearance for agriculture has virtually ceased but continues for residential and tourist development. Adult Cassowaries are occasionally shot, though this is illegal.

This guy in the picture is a lucky one! Plenty of food and attention, permanent health care, and luckiest thing of all: he lives in the wonderful city of Sydney
;-) .


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