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Dublin: 3°C Saturday 27 November 2021

Cyclone-hit Queensland residents warned about deadly birds

Queensland residents have been warned that a dangerous 6ft bird that lives in the northern Australia rainsforest may come into built-up areas in search for food after the recent storms.

Image: Raphael Quinet via Creative Commons

QUEENSLAND RESIDENTS ATTEMPTING to rebuild their homes following Cyclone Yasi have been warned to be vigilant for large, dangerous birds that are expeceted to emerge from the rainforest in search of food after the recent floods.

The cassowary is a type of emu-like 6ft bird native to northern Australia. It is extremely dangerous, with strong claws up to 12 cm long, and is known to attack if it feels threatened; it is said to be able to disembowel a human with a single kick, the Irish Independent reports.

Many of the birds’ nests will have been destroyed in the recent rains, which will force them to look for their main food supply – fruit – further afield. The government has warned residents not to personally feed the birds, as they might continue to come back and may turn violent if not given more food.

The birds, named as the most danergous in the world by the Guinness Book of Records in 2007, live in North Queensland’s World Heritage-listed rainforest – the world’s oldest continuous surviving rainforest, reports couriermail.com.au.

Despite their fearsome capabilities however, there have been next to no recorded incidents of human fatalities involving the birds. The one death that has been recorded was that of 16-year-old Philip McClean, who was killed when he and his brother attempted to beat a cassowary to death in 1926.

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