Wednesday, November 15, 2023
A southern cassowary, known as the world's most dangerous bird, was spotted swimming from the ocean to the shore at a beachside campground in Queensland, Australia.
After reaching the shore, the exhausted cassowary headed towards the rainforest, where it regurgitated a lot of saltwater and stood in the shade beneath a tree with its legs shaking for about half an hour.
Last month, guests at the Bingil Bay Campground were stunned to witness a massive bird emerging from the ocean. Initially, they thought it was a turtle or a shark until it swam closer to the shore.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service wildlife officer Stephen Clough thanked the campground staff for reporting the sighting, as the southern cassowary is listed as endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Clough explained that while cassowaries can be dangerous when provoked, they are generally not aggressive birds and attacks are rare. They are well-adapted to both land and water, able to run at speeds of over 30 miles per hour and jump seven feet into the air.
It is unclear why the cassowary decided to take a swim in the ocean. Clough suggests that it might have been trying to cross a river or escape a threat, such as a dog or another cassowary.
The biggest threats to cassowaries' survival include habitat loss, vehicle strikes, and domestic dog attacks. Humans pose a significant threat to these endangered birds.
Clough encourages anyone who sees a sick, injured, or orphaned cassowary to report it to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. This will help ensure that these vulnerable birds receive the care they need.