Colin the Cassowary finds a new home

Anne O'Brien organising Colin's flight from Fiji

Anne O’Brien organising Colin’s flight from Fiji

Colin the Cassowary has kindly been donated to the Wet Tropics by artist Anne O’Brien from Fiji. Anne makes life-sized, realistic sculptures using recycled fabrics – see her anniemalsartist website. Colin is now on permanent loan to the Cassowary Recovery Team to help raise awareness of the plight of cassowaries.

Colin has already met the Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews, at the Australian Birdfair in Sydney and is now being cared for by Kuranda Conservation.

Jax Bergersen, Gregory Andrews, Colin the Cassowary and Dianne Daniels at Birdfair Australia

Jax Bergersen, Gregory Andrews, Colin the Cassowary and Dianne Daniels at Birdfair Australia

Jax and Colin get to know each other

Jax and Colin get to know each other

Colin attends a Cassowary Recovery Team meeting

Colin attends a Cassowary Recovery Team meeting

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Cassowary breeding season

Male cassowary and chick, Photo: Tony Kennedy

Male cassowary and chick, Photo: Tony Kennedy

It’s cassowary breeding season and time to watch out for young chicks wandering around with dad. Some of the messages we want local communities to heed are:

  • Some fathers are still sitting on eggs and are vulnerable to dogs. Please keep dogs restrained and report any dogs roaming in cassowary territory to the local council.
  • Please don’t feed young chicks and allow them to develop bad habits. These habits can become more dangerous for cassowaries and people as they mature and become more aggressive and dominant.
  • Keep an extra eye out on the road because the chicks may be trailing behind the adult father.
  • There may also be a few young adults around looking for territory and still getting used to being on their own. They too are vulnerable to dogs and traffic.
  • Recent road crossing hotspots on the Cassowary Coast include Flying Fish Point, Mourilyan Harbour, Etty Bay Road, Jubilee Road, Bramston Beach Road, Coquette Point Road, Tully-Mission Beach Road, and Alexander Drive, and Mission Beach.
Sub-adult cassowary crossing the road, Photo: Deb Pople

Sub-adult cassowary crossing the road, Photo: Deb Pople