A cassowary bird that killed its Florida owner, Marvin Hajos is set to be auctioned this weekend along with other exotic animals the owner cared for. Buyer beware.
Floridian Marvin Hajos, 75, was fatally attacked on his farm April 12 by his one of his two cassowaries, which are towering birds native to Australia and New Guinea that stand up to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 130 pounds.
Told a wildlife officials at the time of Hajos’ death, ‘he was likely killed by the bird, using its long claws.’
Adding, ‘It looks like it was accidental. My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked.’
Hajos cared for scores of other exotic animals at his farm in Alachua County, and at his request they will all be sold by Gulfcoast Livestock Auction in Madison, Florida on Saturday, April 27.
The auction house said on Facebook that, ‘One of Marvin’s wishes were his animals be sold at auction as soon as possible. This is an absolute auction and complete dispersal of his animal collection.’
Included in an inventory list posted to Facebook are two double waddled cassowaries and 99 other animals.
Scotty Wilson, the auctioneer, told The Daily Beast that buyers would be given “full disclosure” about the bird’s lethal history.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission categorizes cassowaries as Class II wildlife that ‘can pose a danger to people.’
Cassowaries are similar to emus and stand up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall and weigh up to 130 pounds (60 kilograms), with black body feathers and bright blue heads and necks.
The commission requires permits for public exhibition, sale or personal possession of such wildlife.
A spokesperson for the commission said that buyers at Saturday’s auction must have the proper licenses to purchase the animals. The sale’s auctioneer, Scotty Wilson, says they expect about 100 people from across the country to attend Saturday.
The San Diego Zoo’s website calls cassowaries the world’s most dangerous bird with a four-inch (10-centimeter), dagger-like claw on each foot.
‘The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick. Powerful legs help the cassowary run up to 31 miles per hour (50 kph) through the dense forest underbrush,’ the website says.