On the Seventh Day of Christmas I Finally Got to See

Seven Cassowaries,
Six Emus Eating,
Five Great White Sharks,
Four Koalas Cuddling,
Three Snapping Crocs, 
Two Red Kangaroos,
And a Kookaburra in a Gum Tree

Labelled ‘The most dangerous bird in the world’ they are on every travellers bucket list for must see wildlife of Australia.

What makes them so dangerous? The biggest feature is their extremely sharp inside claw. If they feel threatened, this hidden knife can stab and dissembowl its enemies in a swift motion. Doesn’t sound too appealing to come across one in the wild does it. When we were searching for this insane looking big bird, I won’t lie I was terrified. Why would I want to come face to face with something so dangerous? Back in the UK there is nothing remotely dangerous or scary to come across (I am scared of cows but that is a story for another day). Living day to day in Oz with the chance of coming across MULTIPLE animals / birds / reptiles that can easier kill you, it takes a while to get used too. 

Don’t fret, if you adhere to the safety steps you can safely observe one of these beautiful creatures in the wild. They are actually the closest living species to the dinosaur!

Sarah pointing to a sign stating there has been a recent cassowary crossing.

Be Cass-o-wary

1. Always slow down when driving in cassowary territory

2. Never approach a cassowary

3. Never feed a cassowary

Their largest population in Oz is in the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest rainforest in the world! The Daintree actually relies on our feathered friends to survive. They are frugivores, only eating all the different fruits of the forest. What comes in must come out and this is essential for dispersing the fruit seeds around the forest. For a few of the plants this is their only way to reproduce, without the cassowary some of these plants will cease to exist!!

They are recognised as an endangered species with only around 4600 left in the wild. Just like many of Australias beautiful creatures we need to do everything we can to help them!

Where to find the Cassowary?

View over the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation beach from the top of Mount Sorrow.
Mount Sorrow, Daintree Rainforest

You might have guessed it but one of the best places to encounter a cassowary is in The Daintree Rainforest. We spoke to a few locals over a couple of beers one night to get their top tips for spotting them. Only to be told you have to be extremely lucky, he had been living in the area 5 years and still not see one – that is not what I wanted to hear! Doing what we do best, we went out to explore. The best chance to see one was to be out in the bush. Plenty of board walks (don’t you just love a board walk?) to follow and adventure through different parts of the rainforest. Two days had passed and we had no luck, I didn’t want to come across as a negative nancy but what are the chances? On our last day George woke up and the first thing he said to me was “We are going to see a Cassowary today… I can feel it”.

A Cassowary camouflaged by the trees of the Daintree rainforest
Cassowary through the trees

The last walk of our Daintree adventure was along the Jindalba board walk, and just near the end scratching away at the earth for berries was a BIG CASSOWARY. I panicked and went in to Cass-o-wary mode straight away. He wasn’t even bothered by us, took one look our way and then carried on scratching for berries. Seemed like a big softy to me just looking for some snacks. 

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