’A Florida man was killed by “the world’s most dangerous bird” last Friday, becoming one of the few known cases of death-by-cassowary in modern history.
The victim was identified as Martin Hajos, a 75-year-old man who owned a farm near Alachua, according to the Gainesville Sun. On Friday morning, Hajos was rushed to UF Health Shands Hospital “under a trauma alert,” and later succumbed to undescribed injuries.
“He was doing what he loved,” said a woman who claimed that Hajos was her fiance.
Emergency responders said that Hajos was killed by a cassowary, a large and flightless relative of the emu with a dangerous reputation and, most notably, weaponized feet punctuated by talons up to five inches long.
Cassowaries are ratites, belonging a group of birds characterized by their inability to fly. Native to tropical forests in Australia and New Guinea, they can reach heights of more than five feet and weigh up to 135 pounds.
“It looks like it was accidental,” Alachua County Fire Rescue deputy chief Jeff Taylor told the Gainesville Sun about the incident. “My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked.”…’