Large flightless bird with dagger-like talons up for auction in Florida after killing owner

A large flightless bird with dagger-like talons that was blamed for fatally attacking its owner at a Florida farm earlier this month is heading to the auction block Saturday along with dozens of other exotic animals.

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The animals are part of the estate of Marvin Hajos, who was killed when he fell in between the pens of his cassowaries, a colorful, emu-like bird native to Australia and Southeast Asia that can weigh up to 130 pounds.

Other animals on Hajos’ farm include lemurs, macaws, and Kookaburras.

The animals will be auctioned off by Gulf Coast Livestock Auction, according to The New York Times.

A friend of Hajos told the Times the group organized Saturday's auction because Hajos wanted the animals sold after his death.

Original story: A dagger-clawed, large, flightless bird fatally attacked its fallen owner Friday at a Florida farm.

Marvin Hajos, 75, was killed by a cassowary after apparently falling, Alachua County Fire Rescue told the Gainesville Sun.

"It looks like it was accidental," Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor told the Sun. "My understanding is that (Hajos) was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked."

Cassowaries, like emus are about 6 feet tall. The endangered bird is native to Australia and New Guinea. It is believed their population is about 4,000, according to the Australian government.

It is considered one of the most dangerous birds on the planet.

"The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick," the San Diego Zoo said in its description of the animal. "Powerful legs help the cassowary run up to 31 mph through the dense forest underbrush."

The man was breeding cassowaries at his Florida farm, state wildlife officials said. The bird was taken to a private location after the incident. It is unclear what will ultimately happen to it.

Florida state wildlife officials say the cassowary can “pose a danger to people.”

To obtain a mandatory permit, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires cassowary owners to have "substantial experience" and meet specific cage requirements, spokeswoman Karen Parker told the Sun.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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