- Earlier in April, a cassowary killed its 75-year-old owner.
- Now, the large, flightless bird is up for auction.
- The cassowary is known as the “world’s most dangerous bird.”
- Over 100 animals will be up for auction on Saturday all of which were bred by Hajos.
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On April 12, a cassowary killed its 75-year-old owner. It’s believed to have been a “total accident.” And now, the giant, flightless bird is up for auction.
On Saturday, Gulf Coast Livestock Auction will put the entire estate of Marvin Hajos up for sale. Hajos’ estate includes many rare breeds of birds – including the cassowary that killed him.
As BBC News reported at the time, the bird attacked Hajos when he fell on the grounds of his estate. One of his two cassowaries attacked him through a fence, seriously injuring the 75 year old. Hajos was taken to a local hospital, where he died from the injuries he sustained during the attack.
Per the New York Times, at the time of his death Hajos owned two adult cassowaries. It’s unclear which bird attacked him – or if it was both.
Wilson, who is organising Saturday’s sale told The Daily Beast that “full disclosure” would be made if someone were trying to purchase a cassowary that had killed Hajos.
According to the San Diego Zoo, the cassowary is “considered the most dangerous bird in the world.” The animal, which is native to Australia and Southeast Asia, can grow to be between 4 feet and 5-feet-6 inches tall, weighing up to 167 pounds.
According to the zoo’s website, it can 7 feet into the air and can run up to 31 miles per hour. But the zoo notes that perhaps its most distinct and dangerous feature is the animal’s claw.
“Each 3-toed foot has a dagger-like claw on the inner toe that is up to 4 inches long!” the website notes. “The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick”
Speaking to the New York Times, Bill Grotjahn, who worked on this case for the Medical Examiner’s Office, called this “an unusual situation.”
“I’ve been doing this for 18 years and I’ve never had a thing like this,” he said. “I’ve had them killed by alligators and snakes but never by a bird like that. I know ostriches and emus have their moments, but cassowaries are an extremely, extremely dangerous bird. You don’t want to fool around with them. They have no sense of humour.”
According to The Times, this auction was organised as Hajos’ request – he had wanted the animals to be rehoused after his death.
On Saturday, interested buyers will have the opportunity to take home over 100 animals – including two cassowaries, one emu, five ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs, and 26 marmosets, among others, according to The Daily Beast.
The sale is open to the public, though you should leave your camera at home if you’re planning on attending.
“Anyone seen videotaping in any capacity will be deemed trespassing and will be escorted out by security,” a Facebook post about the auction says. “Your video equipment may or may not be confiscated until all video recordings are [destroyed] Please do not [compromise] our position.”
But this all begs the question, just why did Hajos have the cassowaries – and is it OK for others to have them?
In Florida, cassowaries are considered a Class II animal because they “can pose a threat to humans,” a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Times. The spokesperson said that Hajos did not have a permit to keep the animals in his home because he “employed an agricultural exemption for his possession of cassowaries for agricultural use.”
Wilson, the auctioneer, told The Daily Beast that everyone who would like to purchase one of the animals needs to have a captive wildlife licence or permit.
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