So we have settled into the town of Mission Beach. This is an area called the wet tropics. It is hot. There is a rainforest here. It is also the home of the elusive Cassowary. It isn’t unusual in Australia to learn about an animal you have never heard of – but I was absolutely floored when we discovered the Cassowary. This is the most unusual, coolest bird that I have ever seen. I am shocked we don’t all talk about it all the time!
The cassowary is a HUGE bird. It is the size of an ostrich, Black with a blue head, red neck and a large weird horn on it’s head. It is prehistoric looking.
If I had not seen several for myself I would not have believed they actually exist. But they are real and they roam freely around this town. There are cassowary crossing signs all over warning you to slow down, and there is even a giant cassowary at the town center.
Besides being fascinatingly strange, the cassowary (like just about every other animal in Australia) is dangerous. It has a giant middle claw on it’s foot that can disembowel you if you cross it and it can be very territorial. The literature around here warns you to be careful if you come across one and to slowly back away and hide behind a tree. It is comforting.
As I said, Australia has LOTS of an animals that can kill you. Crocs, Jellyfish, Blue-ringed octopus, dingoes, spiders, snakes, cone shells and cassowarys. They tell us not worry about the sharks. So far we have avoided injury and we are hoping to make it out alive.
I am adding a link to a funny You tube video that describes some of the lovely animals of Australia – and captures how we feel sometimes! Enjoy.
I have seen this bird in Nassau County Florida at White Oaks Plantation.