Man attacked and killed by giant cassowary bird after falling over

Deputies: Large bird attacked, killed its owner

Cassowaries, which are known as "the most unsafe bird in the world" have attacked people before and are understood to pose a significant danger to both humans and pet animals.

"When he fell, he was attacked".

Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor told the Gainesville Sun that the bird's attack was swift and ruthless, and apparently happened after Hajos fell to the ground.

He said first responders got a call on Friday morning and rushed the man to a hospital for trauma care but he later died.

A second call came from another person at the scene who reported a medical emergency involving a large bird, said Lt. Joshua Crews of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. The bird is secured on private property, Mr Taylor said.

"We're looking to confirm our suspicions that this is a frightful accident for the man and his family", Lt. Rhodenizer said.

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The cassowary, which looks similar to an Australian emu, then pounced on him, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

"My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell".

The cassowary remains on Hajos' property as authorities conduct an investigation into the attack, he said. They can be up to 2 meters (6ft) tall and weigh up to 60kg (130lb), with black body feathers and bright blue heads and necks.

The birds can run at speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour. The birds are native to New Guinea and parts of Australia.

Cassowaries are eaten in parts of Papua New Guinea but in the U.S. but are sought after by collectors of exotic birds.

In order to own a cassowary, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires a person to obtain a permit, have "substantial experience", and have a cage meeting specific requirements.

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