Residents of communities around Mission Beach, on the north Queensland coast, which was almost flattened by the category five cyclone earlier this month, have been advised to beware of the 6ft tall birds, which are known to attack if they feel threatened.
Famed for their long talons – their dagger-like middle claws measure 12cm long – and powerful legs, the birds, which are unique to the rainforests of northern Australia, are said to be able to disembowel humans, dogs and horses with just one kick.
Weighing more than 10st, cassowaries resemble an emu, and in 2007 were named the most dangerous birds in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. . .