plants and animals

Curious cassowary paid Australian couple a visit



Editor and Artist
It has been a regular in the hood since it was a chick. Last week, it boldly went where no cassowary has gone before.

‘Peanut’, as the bird was known in the neighborhood, is a cassowary who regularly wanders near Sue and Peter Leach’s property at Wongaling Beach, south of Cairns, Australia. Earlier last week, Peanut took a slight detour as the homeowners were preparing dinner with their doors open.

The bird, which could reach 2 meters (6‘ 6”) tall, sent Mrs. Leach bolting to out of the kitchen—but not without telling her husband to take photos from behind the dining table. The visit didn’t last long, however, as the well-behaved guest decidedly left right away without touching their private properties.

Despite their apparent confidence, the flightless birds are easy to spook, and capable of delivering injury with their powerful legs and beaks. Their berries-filled poop could also leave a mark on the floor, although luckily Peanut didn’t drop the Leach family an unexpected gift.

A close relative to kiwis, ostriches, and emus, cassowaries are the largest and heaviest living birds in Australia. Threatened by habitat loss, they have been known to wander near settlements in the state Queensland, but this is the first instance reported of one entering a human house.