I recently realized that there are so many species on God’s world that I know very little about when visiting a safari park.In addition, there are numerous species that I am not even aware of.
I didn’t start to think about how little most of us actually know about the organisms we share this world with until I paused and gave that idea some thought.It also encompasses the audacious, ingenious, and simply terrifying.
Learning about new animals—mammals, reptiles, fish, or birds—and how they live, mate, evolved into the behaviors they have today, and everything in between, holds a particular allure.
I’m the first to say that I had never heard of the cassowary, also referred to as the world’s most hazardous bird. They can weigh 180 lbs, are native to the jungles of New Guinea, the Aru Islands, and northeastern Australia, and have razor-sharp claws that can cause fatal wounds.
Even if I don’t know much about them, a fast Google search is more than enough to convince me that I would never consider getting one as a pet. That is a sentiment that many of our readers undoubtedly share.
It seems that some individuals do, though. Marvin Hajos, a Florida resident in his seventy-fives, was one such person. He was an expert in cassowaries, an animal lover and campaigner, and he kept two breeding pairs as pets. But one day, Hajos frantically dialed 911 to report that he was in critical condition. The call’s transcript is chilling enough to make one’s blood run cold.
According to sources, Marvin had an early interest in birds. Having worked with birds at the Bronx Zoo as a young lad, he eventually developed a fascination for cassowaries, who are regarded as the most hazardous birds in the world.
Marvin developed become an authority on them throughout the course of his life and lectured on them at numerous colleges across the US. And he had a permit that allowed him to raise two breeding pairs of the flightless birds on his land in Alachua, Florida.
As previously said, Marvin had extensive knowledge about cassowaries and was aware of the risks involved with being around them. Even so, one of the birds he cared for attacked him and fatally wounded him. According to reports, authorities theorized that Marvin’s deadly error caused his death in 2019.
Fox 35 said: “He was tending to them when he got attacked. One of the females recently laid an egg, the males typically try to smash those eggs. It is believed that Hajos tried to retrieve the eggs and put them in an incubator before the attack.”
Following the attack, Hajos managed to call 911, telling an operator:
“Can you send an ambulance? I’m bleeding to death.”
Hajos was brought to the UF Health Shands Hospital, where he tragically passed away from his wounds. “It looks like it was accidental. My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked.”
Rest in peace, Marvin Hajos.