Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Terrible News

Wild Beach Cassowary,  Queensland
I have been home from Australia for less than a week now,  but have been in touch with friends there nearly every day since I left.   News reached me last night that one of the Cassowaries I photographed on a small Queensland beach was hit by a car and killed shortly after I left.  The news has hit me hard.   I came to love these remarkable birds while I was there, but am realistic enough to know that the gravest threat to their survival is their uneasy relationship with people.

There are probably fewer than 1500 Cassowaries left in Australia and as many as a dozen are killed every year on roads and highways. Animals like these, which have grown dangerously casual around people are particularly at risk since they have lost the natural fear of humans that can serve to protect them. 

I don't know exactly what happened yet, but the idea of one of these great birds that I came to know so well has been killed because of human interaction has been wrenching. Statistics are abstract; this was personal. 

Cassowary and Beach Scene


  1. This again proves that the species Homo sapiens
    is the most destructive. Everything that we do damages the planet and its inhabitants in one way or other.

  2. Sadly, I agree. When animals and humans come in contact, the animals almost always lose. That's why protecting adequate habitat is so vital.