I was on a trip to a safari park recently when the thought occurred to me that there are so many animals on God’s earth that I know next to nothing about.
Not just that, but there are countless species that I don’t even know exist. It wasn’t until I stopped and considered that notion that I began to consider how little most of us really know regarding the creatures we share this planet with.
That includes the bold, the brilliant, and the downright terrifying. Be they mammal, reptile, fish, or bird, there’s a certain fascination in learning about new animals, how they live, what their mating habits are, how they evolved to behave as they do today, and everything in between.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’d never heard of the Cassowary bird before, otherwise known as the most dangerous bird in the world. Native to the forests of New Guinea, the Aru Islands, and northeastern Australia, they can weigh 180 lbs and boast exceptionally sharp claws capable of inflicting devastating wounds.
While I might not know too much about them, a quick search on Google is more than enough to tell me that I would never entertain the idea of taking one on as a pet. That, I’m sure, is a sentiment shared by many of our readers.
Some people apparently do, though.
75-year-old Marvin Hajos, who lived in Florida, was one such person. An animal lover and activist, he was an expert on Cassowaries, and kept two breeding pairs as pets.
One day, however, Hajos made a frantic 911 call to say that he was in serious trouble. The transcript of said call is enough to chill the blood.
As per reports, Marvin developed his avian interest early on. He had worked with birds at the Bronx Zoo as a young boy, and at some point became fascinated with Cassowaries, widely considered to be the world’s most dangerous bird.
Throughout his life, Marvin became an expert, and traveled around the US giving lectures on them at various colleges. Moreover, he had a license that enabled him to keep two breeding pairs of the flightless birds on his property in Alachua, Florida.
As stated, Marvin was extremely knowledgeable on Cassowaries, and knew the dangers associated with being in their proximity.
Even so, he was attacked and mortally wounded one day by one of the birds he looked after. As per reports, authorities speculated that it was a fatal mistake on Marvin’s part that led to his death in 2019.
Fox 35 said: “He was tending to them when he got attacked. One of the females recently laid an egg, the males typically try to smash those eggs. It is believed that Hajos tried to retrieve the eggs and put them in an incubator before the attack.”
Following the attack, Hajos managed to call 911, telling an operator:
“Can you send an ambulance? I’m bleeding to death.”
Hajos was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital, where he sadly died of his injuries.
Alachua County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor explained: “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.”
Rest in peace, Marvin Hajos.