Sometimes we feel as though we are intruding into private lives, but for Big Bertha and Crinkle Cut, it’s all in a day’s work, the same old, same old….! While we were watching and filming, we heard a snort from the bushes nearby.
Was it another male cassowary or a feral pig? We don’t know, but the two cassowaries completed their coupling before separating abruptly. Crinkle Cut is our favourite cassowary father, gentle, diligent and keen to remain in Big Bertha’s territory.
He’s been missing for a while, but now that he’s back in favour with Big Bertha, we expect to see him more frequently.
Our observations have shown that Crinkle Cut is reluctant to dump his children. We have even seen him teaching the cassowary chicks to hide from Big Bertha while their father mates – just to keep the old woman happy!
According to the experts, cassowaries usually chase the chicks away somewhere between 6 and 9 months. This leaves them free to mate, sit on the eggs and care for a new batch of off-spring.
Life hasn’t been quite so simple here in the Daintree Rainforest. While Crinkle Cut was ever-ready to mate, after he had hidden the chicks, he maintained his watchful supervision of his chicks for 19 months. He did not sit on the eggs even though he obviously sired some of the chicks. Kron, who was persuaded by Big Bertha to get rid of his chicks when they were 14 months old, was ready to sit on all of the eggs, not really concerned with the paternity issues.
One of the biggest problems that we are facing in the Daintree is the increase in pig hunting. While we acknowledge that the pigs are a threat to the environment, including the cassowaries, any eradication program will need to remove at least 80% of the estimated 10,000 pigs in the Daintree to be effective. Pig dogs are a menace as they chase cassowaries and chicks and by separating the father from his chicks, the chicks become isolated and die.
This family photo of Big Bertha, Crinkle Cut and the two chicks show another little known aspect of family interaction. These two chicks were lost, probably through the introduction of pig dogs into the rainforest. Every aspect of the chicks’ diet is carefully supervised and moderated by the father.
I have seen the male remove a seed from a chicks mouth because it was too big, break it into smaller pieces and feed it to the chicks. If we happen upon a family during meal time, the male will not permit us to walk past and disturb this very important feeding function. It’s not a hardship for our tour group to stop, watch and photograph a privileged encounter.
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [2892 Views]
- Video: Watch what happens when you give a squirrel a GoPro » [505 Views]
- Video: Incredible footage shows leopard attacking two male antelope while they fight » [504 Views]
- Video: Killer Whales Attack Pod of Narwhal » [500 Views]
- Video: Rare Black Sea Devil Caught on Film for the First Time » [451 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [423 Views]
- Grey seals identified as killers behind mystery harbour porpoise deaths » [420 Views]
- Video: Watch the Incredible Migration of Thousands of Giant Spider Crabs in Australia » [386 Views]
- New Pictures of Hollywood Cougar Show Sleeker, Healthier Cat » [384 Views]
- Listen to New Bird Species Discovered in Brazil: Cryptic Treehunter » [369 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10958 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7971 Views]
- POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [7407 Views]
- POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5660 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [4906 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [4706 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4011 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [3194 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [3189 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [2930 Views]