What’s a Cassowary?

Southern Cassowary

I was lucky enough to have many encounters with the illustrious cassowary while in Australia on the Cape York Peninsula.  But it is definitely not an easy animal to find.  It’s a bird, actually.  One of the biggest birds on this planet.  The southern cassowary, to use its full name, can only be found on this small peninsula on the northeast side of the continent of Australia.  In addition, there are only 1,500 or less individuals left on this planet; they are an endangered bird.

There is a passage in my new mystery novel, Wicked Walkabout, dedicated to the cassowary.  And the lodge where Anne Lamington, the protagonist,  is staying when she comes across the murder is called Cassowary Lodge.  I can’t tell you about the passage because you will have to read the book to do that.

But having seen the beautiful bird, that is, by the way, over five feet tall, I can tell you it is a formidable creature.  This photo is one that my partner took when we were communing with it in the rainforest.  Just after the photo was taken, however, we had to quietly and without showing panic, flee the scene, because the cassowary was apparently not taking visitors that day.

If you google a cassowary kick you will see what I mean.


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