It occurred a few years ago in the Daintree National Park north of Cairns in Northeast Queensland Australia.
It was early morning and I was on a track to a small waterfall 3 km from the road.
I entered a clearing about the size of 2 tennis courts with a clump of bushes in the middle. The track wound around this clump and then continued on into the rainforest.
Just as I walked past the bushes a movement out of the corner of my eye made me swing my head around, and there at what seemed 3 inches distanceand at my Eye level was a coloured rock with these two eyes starring at me.
As I jumped 3 feet into the air and screamed so did the Cassowary (jump and scream). It then shot off through the forest screaming, leaving me behind blubbering to myself in a mixture of relief, fear, adrenalin and confusion.
Its speed through the undergrowth was phenomenal, and proved to me how efficient the Casque (helmet) is for breaking a path through the undergrowth.
To this day I am not certain who was more frightened, myself or the bird, but that day marked the start of my fascination with this unique and wonderful bird.
To go to a Cassowary poem by Kenneth Hoffman
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