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Carrowary bird attacks grandfather at Babinda Boulders, Australia.

Tuesday 17th April 2012

An Australian grandfather is nursing a bruised backside and ego after being unceremoniously kicked off a seven foot high rocky ledge (alright so it's not exactly a cliff - artistic license!) Dennis Ward was at Babinda Boulders near Cairns, a well known beauty spot, admiring a group of Cassowary, a large flightless bird memorably described by Oddity Central as "something that came out of an ostrich-impregnated turkey", when one turned on him and charged. 

Is this Australia's most dangerous bird?

Grandad Tells of Kickboxing Cassowary Attack

According to Cairns.com.au:

"We were standing about 40 or 50 feet away from the cassowary," Mr Ward said.

"It looked like it was going to attack the photographer then next moment it charged towards me and my grandson.

"It just came straight up to me, decided to pick on me for some reason, I don’t know what for.

"It was looking right at me, kind of standing up, so I turned my back to it because I didn’t want a claw right up my middle – I have heard those things can gut you with their claws.

"Next thing, thump, I copped a boot in the back and I was tumbling down the bank, it was pretty high – about seven foot – I hit this ledge near the bottom and bounced off into the drink."

According to the 2007 Guinness Book Of World Records, the cassowary is the world's most dangerous bird, capable of kicking, biting and clawing anything it deems as a threat. Normally though they are shy rainforest dwellers who avoid humans. The park rangers at Babinda think that this particular bird has become aggressive with humans after being fed titbits by tourists, and are advising visitors to be cautious of the cassowary and not to feed or encourage them.

Babinda Boulders is a gorgeous spot in the rainforest where you can swim in the freshwater creek, and is located 58km south of Cairns. Definitely worth a visit when you are in that neck of the woods. Check out our gap year destinations Australia page to find out more about travelling to Australia on your year out.