Yes, there is a cassowary bird. The fact that you haven’t seen it does not mean it does not exist.
It’s a remarkable bird. It has splendid feathers, but it can’t fly. It’s an excellent swimmer, loves fruit – eats it whole and doesn’t bother to peel the bananas.
The cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.
He’s large and extremely shy. If you leave it alone, that is. When disturbed, it can knock you for a loop with its dagger-like claw and super powerful legs. Guinness World Records calls it the world’s most dangerous bird.
Speaking of tough, if you are planning to serve one up for supper, try adding a stone to the pot. You’ll know the cassowary is ready to eat when the stone is ready. If ever there were an endangered species that looks like it was made from discarded parts after the Grand Designer got through, it is this one. Sporting a wedged-shaped horny crest, this bird is a vision of sartorial splendor. It struts through remote rainforests in Australia and New Guinea, completely unaware that he is one of very few of his species extant.
But he’s not the only one.
Remember Martha? She died in the Cincinnati Zoo – the last passenger pigeon on earth.
A couple of kids working in a garage could create a computer that would change the world, but we can’t produce a lowly pigeon. It turns out only a passenger pigeon can make a passenger pigeon.
You might also consider the buffalo. They thought it would be nearly impossible to erase them from the planet. Tigers exist, but largely only in captivity. That famous dodo bird? Gone forever.
Yes, there is a cassowary bird, but it is in dire straits. You might want to check it out. I know it exists because I’ve seen it. But don’t take my word for it.
Diana and Bill Gleasner have lived in Denver for more than 30 years. In addition to travel journalism, they have written two books about the Lake Norman area.