Florida man attacked, killed by large, exotic bird he kept as pet

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ALACHUA COUNTY, FL (WCJB/Gray News) - A Florida man was attacked and killed by his pet exotic bird in what the sheriff’s office deemed “a tragic accident,” WCJB reports.

Marvin Hajos, 75, was near his pet cassowary when he fell, and the bird attacked, according to Alachua County Fire Rescue.

A cassowary is a 6-foot-tall flightless bird native to Australia and New Guinea. It has been called “the world’s most dangerous bird,” due to its 4-inch dagger-like claws and incredibly strong legs.

State wildlife officials say the victim was breeding the birds, the Associated Press reports. The birds are sought after in the United States by collectors of exotic birds.

Lieutenant Brett Rhodenizer with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office says at this time, it seems the attack was “a tragic accident.” However, the investigation is ongoing.

The bird remains secured on private property. It was not immediately known what would happen to it.