As a native species in some of the most formidable territories on Earth (New Guinea and Australia), the cassowary bird stands 5-6 feet tall, weighs up to 160 pounds, can swim, jump 7 feet high, and run 30 miles per hour.
Larger than a Canadian goose but smaller than an ostrich, the cassowary has sturdy, splayed out feet with 10-centimeter long talons that are capable of disemboweling a human. They are even known to kick humans with their legs. On top of the head protruding from the skull, cassowaries possess a dense, helmet-like horn (called a casque) which they use aggressively during fights (see video). The Cassowary is considered class 2 wildlife, alongside howler monkeys, bobcats, honey badgers, clouded leopards, and alligators.
“The inner or second of the three toes is fitted with a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease. There are many records of natives being killed by this bird.” – Living Birds of the World by Ernest Thomas Gilliard
Recently, a Florida man was killed by one of these rare, flightless birds. According to sources, the man raised the animal and was certified to work with and breed them on his farm. He was clawed to death.
With a decreasing overall population, the cassowary is considered to have a vulnerable conservation status.
Most often, cassowary attacks on humans occur when plucking at food or being fed. A quick internet search down the rabbit holes of reddit or YouTube yields a few video clips of these menacing creatures in action.