We are extremely sorry to tell you that the cassowary known as Harriet or Wattle was killed by vehicle strike on Black Mountain Road on Friday. The bird did not die instantly and was later found by passers by, mortally injured but still breathing. KCons was alerted and she was transported to the vet, but was dead on arrival. This is a significant blow to the struggling cassowary population of Kuranda. While she was a healthy fat bird, the autopsy revealed that she had a recent injury which was not related to the accident. This injury may have caused pain and disorientation and could have contributed to her coming into contact with the truck. She was between 10 and 20 years old and at a prime age for breeding. She had recently been observed with Dad, a senior male well known in the area, so hopes were high for a successful mating and a new clutch of eggs.
Accidents happen and they are sometimes unavoidable, but when driving in cassowary country, especially in areas they are known to frequent, please drive slowly. This death highlights the need to drive below the speed limit at times.
Photos of Wattle/Harriet and Dad, courtesy of Lorraine Harris