Cassowary at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

Imagine yourself face to face with a strange unique bird like this, a Cassowary as you are taking your nature walk in a jungle, what would you do? I dread such a happening. My palpitations increased as I saw a Cassowary even though it was at safe distance, within a strong enclosure in Jurong Bird Park, Singapore. The bird has a prehistoric look, very scary. The sharp curious look it had for me is clearly etched in mind. It looked at me this way, then that way. I could sense a feeling of inquisitiveness it had for my long black nose, my zoom lens. At one point of time, it turned away its face from me.

Sharp Looks of Cassowary
Its horny helmet, called a casque, on its head was most fascinating. It’s an odd structure, neither horn nor bone; it has a hard covering but is spongy inside and somewhat flexible overall, I read. I wanted to capture its form and shape. Stalking it was impossible and all I could do then was wait patiently to get that in frame. This helmet helps the cassowary crash its way through the thick growths of the jungle and get away from its enemies. Its two long red wattles hanging down from its neck looked interesting and made it look attractive.

Cassowary Jurong Bird Park
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Cassowaries are the world’s most dangerous birds, capable of dealing fatal blows. They can grow to over six and a half feet tall. An adult will weigh over 100pounds. They can run at speeds of over thirty miles per hour! They have sharp claws – 3 of them – in each foot. The dagger-like claw grows up to five-inches long. I am sure the bird keepers of Jurong Bird Park must be having tough time looking after these birds.

The last person known to have been killed by a cassowary was 16-year-old Phillip McLean, whose throat was punctured on his Queensland ranch in 1926. There have been plenty of close calls since: people have had ribs broken, legs cracked and flesh gashed. If you happen to meet a Cassowary in the wild and he/she happens to take a dislike towards you, then be sure you are the second person to die at the feet of a Cassowary after 1926!

3 best defence against an angry Cassowary

  1. Keep something in front of you
  2. Go behind a tree
  3. Raise your arms to look taller

So? Which is your best self defence?

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49 Responses

  1. Ann says:

    you world traveler!!! When were you in Singapore. I once joined the Jurong bird park for one year and took the kids every sat.

  2. Oh my…what an amazing bird! I might keep my distance to appreciate this guy's beauty! Wonderful captures!

  3. jinksy says:

    What a shame humans can't parade around with such delightful markings!

  4. YOSEE says:

    Jurong bird Park is a wonderland !

    Mysore Zoo has always had a pair of Cassowaries , kept in open enclosure along with Emus. Once, I overheard a person "educating" his kid that the dull coloured Emu was the female and the colourful Cassowary , the Male ! Obviously, he thought they were the same species !

  5. eileeninmd says:

    Cool looking bird and great info. Thanks for sharing yoru critter!

  6. slommler says:

    What an awesome bird!! And the colors!! That helmet is most fascinating. Wow! Makes me wonder how big this bird is? I have never seen one before!

  7. RNSANE says:

    I wish I had been to this bird park the two times I was in Singapore…don't think that I'll ever get back, now that I'm retired and living on a fixed income. I'm so glad I got to see this through your eyes and wonderful photos!!

  8. Hazel says:

    Casque – that's a new vocab I learned today, and some fact about Cassowary. I just met the world's most dangerous bird? Thanks for the info. It's a beautiful creature.

  9. Reader Wil says:

    When we were in Australia we saw a Cassowary crossing the road. Fortunately we were safe in the car. This is indeed a dangerous bird. It can tear your body open with its claws. You have taken some very great photos to allow us to have a good look at the helm. Thank you!

  10. Beautiful Photo's Indra and interesting information about the bird. Love the first shot 🙂

  11. Denise says:

    You have caught this extraordinary bird well Indrani. Wonderful shots of a very interesting Cassowary and thank you for the information. I don't think I would like to meet one face to face in the jungle 🙂

    An English Girl Rambles

  12. radha says:

    Such a handsome bird. And to think they are dangerous!

  13. Karine says:

    What a fascinating bird, I've never seen one like it and I never knew a bird could be so dangerous!

  14. George says:

    Thanks for sharing this most unusual bird. I don't think I had ever heard of it before. Your pictures are both beautiful and fabulous.

  15. ladyfi says:

    It looks too gorgeous to be lethal! What an unusually lovely bird. Great shots.

  16. Anu says:

    Its just too beautiful!!!

  17. Onkar says:

    Very informative. Pictures are great.

  18. An interesting creature, to say the least! These are neat shots.

  19. Gorgeous bird– I'd never seen anything about these before. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Danger in beauty? Handsome looking cassowary. Thanks for the lovely pics.

  21. Never heard of this. good shots

  22. Nessa says:

    That's such an interesting bird.

  23. Kcalpesh says:

    Believe it or not! I'm seeing this kind of a bird for the first time!! Amazing colors…

    Pixellicious Photos

  24. What a gorgeous bird !

  25. That’s a beautiful bird

  26. The bird is damn beautiful 🙂 Lovely post!

  27. Amazing looking bird – never heard of it before! It sounds quite scary…

  28. magiceye says:

    Wow!! An amazing bird!

  29. I so loved to know about and see the the bird Cassowary Buddy, loved the post 🙂

  30. This is so informative Indrani; I was not aware of this bird nor the fact that they could be so dangerous. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Shrikant says:

    I missed it in my trip to Singapore. Beautiful post!

  32. Not sure if i spotted this during my 2016 visit

  33. Hema says:

    Now that’s a good looking bird!

  34. reminded me of my encounter at Jurong Bird Park…I must appreciate a very beautiful park…

  35. A very interesting bird. Thanks for this informative post and great captures 🙂

  36. What a beautiful colorful bird…never would have thought it would be so dangerous for I had seen one in Delhi zoo …it looked so tamed in captivity. Perhaps, when angry it would overpower any human by its sheer size only …quite a huge one 🙂 😀

  37. Thanks for letting me know about cassowary with such beautiful pics. 🙂

  38. Interesting information, Indrani.. Beautiful Clicks of the bird!

  39. i b arora says:

    what a bird, amazing

  40. Jyothi D'mello says:

    A strong-head bird?! Enjoyed knowing a few facts about cassowary and I think it is a beautiful bird 🙂

  41. Wow, it has such intense eyes!! Missed out Jurong bird park during our visit to Singapore due to time constraint. The park will definitely top our list if we are planning a trip next.

  42. OMG … I have never seen a bird like this ..Interesting info ..

  43. Vyjay says:

    The bird does look menacing and eerie. Would definitely not want to encounter one in the open.

  44. Ana says:

    I visited Jurong Bird Park last year. It was really a worthwhile experience to have a close up encounter with the colorful birds. On the other hand, I just like admiring them but not really touching them. I have been always afraid of their beaks. I was even scared to the lories even they are small. What more of a cassowary. Haha! I think no one can be attacked by a Cassowary in Jurong Bird Park. The birds there seems to be harmless. 🙂

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