While the cassowary is a shy animal which prefers to avoid contact with humans, it is, quite brave and will attack if threatened. The bird will first try to scare the intruder away by stretching itself to its full height and ruffling its feathers and hiss loudly. If this fails to scar off the intruder the cassowary will lower its head and produce a deep booming sound as the pigmentation of its skin on its neck becomes much brighter and its body trembles. It will then attack fearlessly.
The cassowary attacks by jumping up in the air and kicking forward with its very powerful legs. Its inner toes are armed with dagger-like claws which can grow up to 18cm in length. It has a lighting fast kick, powerful enough to pierce and rip open flesh and severely injure or even kill its victim. Once provoked the cassowary will keep up its attack chasing its victims at speeds up to 60kph.
Statistic show that the cassowary is really more frightening than dangerous. The last recorded death of a human due to a cassowary attack was in 1926. This too was in self-defence when a teenager attempted to attack a cassowary with a club.
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