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Cassowary

Explore the Daintree Rainforest at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, and come face to face with the World's deadliest bird - the endangered Southern Cassowary!



Cassowary

Here at WILD LIFE Sydney, we have one cassowary, affectionately named Princess. Despite his feminine name, Princess is actually a male… just a cassowary who happens to be very high maintenance! For example, Princess loves to have showers to cool down in the summer but he doesn't like to get his feet wet above his ankles!

Don't let his beauty fool you; Princess is definitely not a pushover. Armed with a large, sharp claw on his inner toe and a fearsome kick, it is easy to see how the cassowary earned the "World's Deadliest Bird" title.

When the keepers go in to tend to Princess, they do so behind a 'cassowary shield'. This can make doing work within the display tricky as multiple staff are required to carry the shield, keep an eye on Princess, and get the work done. Despite all this effort, Princess never seems very impressed when the keepers make any changes to his home.

Key Facts:

  • Born 4 September 1998
  • Favourite food includes grapes, cherry tomatoes and corn
  • Eats around 7kg of fruit per day


The Southern cassowary is the third-largest bird in the world by height, behind their relatives the ostrich and the emu, towering up to 1.5 metres tall, but they are the second-largest by weight and can reach a hefty 70kg.

The species can be found in north-eastern Australia, Papua New Guinea and nearby islands. Despite their aggressive reputation, the cassowary's diet is mainly fruit.

The Southern cassowary is vulnerable to extinction, with habitat loss or degradation its biggest threat.

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