Big, mean bird that killed US owner will be auctioned

WASHINGTON: For sale: a giant, ornery bird that killed its last owner. The creature called a cassowary – boasting long, dagger-like claws, standing as tall as a tallish person and sporting a truly foul disposition – will be auctioned tomorrow, two weeks after slashing to death 75-year-old exotic animal lover and breeder Marvin Hajos.

Hajos was raising the flightless bird, which has a blue face and a ridge atop its head, and other exotic animals on his property in Alachua county in the north central part of Florida.

He died April 12 when he fell near the cassowary pen and was attacked by the bird.

In this file photo taken on June 24, 2013 shows a cassowary bird that is native to Australia and New Guinea rainforests is seen in it’s enclosure at the Beijing zoo. Photo: AFP

A total of around 90 animals that Hajos owned will be auctioned off, said Scotty Wilson, the auctioneer at Gulf Coast Livestock Auction in Madison, Florida.

They include brightly coloured macaws and critters called marmosets, or pocket monkeys, primates which are only 13 to 15cm long, said Wilson, who knew Hajos for years.

“Marvin was a very beloved figure and the exotic animal community around here is small but close knit. So I imagine we will have a strong turnout for the auction,” he told AFP.

There is no starting price set for the cassowary and Wilson declined to say how much it might fetch.

In the event no one wants it, several conservation groups have already told the auction house they will take care of the cassowary.

Proceeds will go to Hajos’ widow and other family, said Wilson. – AFP