ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 6, 2011) – Four policemen were injured after a cassowary escaped from a local aviary attacked them, officials said.
Officials said the large flightless bird attacked the policemen inside a training base near the aviary in Zamboanga City’s Pasonanca village on Tuesday. “We were suddenly attacked by the bird,” one of those injured said in a television interview on Thursday.
The four policemen were attacked by cassowary one at a time. Most of them suffered injuries inflicted by the bird’s sharp and powerful claws.
It was not immediately known how the bird escaped, but an aviary caretaker said it may have broken out from its cage. The aviary, a favorite attraction among locals, is being run by the Zamboanga City government.
The cassowary (genus Casuarius) was eventually captured by the officers and returned the bird to the aviary. It is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.
Cassowaries are very shy, but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries not only to humans but other small animals as well. (Mindanao Examiner)