Southern Cassowary – Survival Depends on Our Actions!

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When we face wildlife – our deepest “parental love” will spontaneously rise with no apparent mental exertion from our part. It’s like observing a sign that says “Fresh Paint – Do Not Touch”, we impulsively have to test it.

These complex and voluntary events in our brain, can eventually deliver catastrophic results toward the next unsuspicious wildlife/nature visitor, as they come to have their rear end kicked by the almighty Cassowary.

Southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) Beach Stroll N.

Our reactions to the well known “puppy look”, is to show any animal our affection by submission, using a gentle and affectioned pat, or by holding them caress-fully or giving the ultimate reward “food”, so we can finally and effortlessly harness their presence and admiration.

Coming face to face with a wild Southern Cassowary while peering through your cameraviewfinder, gives your imagination and immediate sense of a Jurassic reality.

The boosting stimulus that this wild beast has you in his sight, triggers a fear within you that is absolutely relentless. With a majestic posture at 1.8 metres or 4.9-5.9 ft tall, powerful legs and a razor sharp inner claw in their feet, is as if you just came face to face, with a 21st century velociraptor.

All cassowaries species (the Northern/Southern and Dwarf) are usually shy birds of the deep forest, vanishing quickly in the blink of an eye. The adventurous attitude of the Australian Southern Cassowary species could be now imprinted, thus why more and more cassowaries in N. Queensland, are undaunted from having contact with humans, resulting in senseless road kills and dog attacks, just because our persistent actions.

When exploring these magnificent cassowaries sightings, please remember unnatural feeding poses the biggest threat to their survival and your absolute safety. Feeding no matter how small the amount is, will unintentionally lure the animal to remain dependent of the area and gaining the least fear of human interaction.

In an surprise encounter and believe me, when you least expect they will be appearing in front of you or running towards you, so never run away from them as theythey will outrun you at 50Km/h (31 mph).

Stand your ground, never move forward forcefully to an approaching cassowary as they will charge you as an opponent, keep an observing safe distance (that’s what zoom lens are for), show them your open hands (no food) and never loose eye contact or turn your back on a cassowary, unless safe to do so.

They can easily show aggression and are known to kick cars, so do not stop in your motor vehicle on the roadside to view the cassowary. The Australian police will fine you if you do so, like the cassowaries the Australian police has a zero tolerance for stupidity.

So please “Be CASS-O-WARY” and enjoy the following snippets montage, these were never broadcasted publicly until now, the “Cassowary” Chronological Vault at WildCAM Australia. Video is over 13 minutes duration.

If you enjoyed such unveiling, please let me know by leaving a comment on this page, there is also a possible continuum “cassowary releases and tracking” all depending on your valuable feedback.
Also I will be presenting soon a segment on the Australian Saltwater Crocodile, “Armoured and Dangerous in Cairns ©”.

Cheer’s

Alberto

Alberto Vale

Alberto Vale is an avid naturalist and a successful wildlife videographer. He resides in Cairns, Australia, just minutes from the best wildlife locations in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest's. Conducting nocturnal wildlife interpretation tours for the past 14 years, Alberto claims that the two most important things for a successful wildlife videographer, " is to know the habitat and it's wildlife". His wildlife videography has two completed wildlife documentaries, soon to be released on DVD. Alberto has received numerous tourism and videography awards throughout his passionate naturalist career.

Alberto

Alberto

Alberto Vale is an avid naturalist and a successful wildlife videographer. He resides in Cairns, Australia, just minutes from the best wildlife locations in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest's. Conducting nocturnal wildlife interpretation tours for the past 14 years, Alberto claims that the two most important things for a successful wildlife videographer, " is to know the habitat and it's wildlife". His wildlife videography has two completed wildlife documentaries, soon to be released on DVD. Alberto has received numerous tourism and videography awards throughout his passionate naturalist career.

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Neil Hewett
Neil Hewett

… And another thing … sixty-thousand feral pigs in the last remaining cassowary habitat has attracted another threatening process in the form of the recreational pig hunter. Notwithstanding the fact that dogs are prohibited animals in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, the number of utilities getting around the region, with cages on the back, occupied by purpose-bred (usually Bull-Mastiff-Irish Wolfhound cross) pig-dogs, gives an insight into the seriousness of the issue.  The only remaining area of the Wet Tropics that is un-broken rainforest habitat between the coast and the mountain-tops is north of the Daintree River.  It would be interesting to survey… Read more »

Neil Hewett
Neil Hewett

Long before humankind entered the landscape, the habitat of the Southern Cassowary was vastly greater, but it retracted with a cooling planet, bringing its endemic populations with it.  Over the past hundred and forty (or so) years, further loss of habitat has occurred through logging, sugar-cane cropping and urbanisation.  For the sake of the Cassowary, it is important to recognise that finite habitat limits population carrying capacity and that it is not feasible to consider expanding habitat as a threat-abatement strategy, because it simply takes too long.  We must rather ask ourselves, as responsible land-managers, what can be done within… Read more »

Glenn Bartley

Fascinating article and first-class video clip. Looking forward  to seeing “cassowary releases and tracking”