My first interaction with a Cassowary was from a distance – we shared a sideways glance as I sat in the back of a Greyhound bus.
I had been traveling from Cairns to Melbourne with multiple stops in between. I had heard about a giant bird, much like an ostrich or an emu in appearance but the cassowary is much more colorful in comparison. However, it has a nasty temper and known for attacking people.
That day, as I watched the world drift by from the inside of the Greyhound bus, I noticed a bright splash of color in the distance. Just standing in the middle of the road, in the other lane. As my head whipped around to catch the final glimpse, I noticed there’s not one but two cassowaries! The second was smaller, I presume it is the baby and mom was shielding the baby from the traffic.
Oh how I wished the bus driver to have read my mind that day and stopped the bus – in the middle of the highway! So I can get a photo of the beautiful bird.
4 years later, as I exit the grounds of Prambanan in Central Java, Indonesia. I see a fenced off area with a bright splash of color – there I find the beautiful bird. This time in captivity. Up close, the cassowary looks like a colorful emu with a turkey’s wattle hanging off it’s neck.
We had a staring contest… and I lost…