Protecting Cassowaries from Predatory Domestic Animals

Ingrid Marker has lived adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area near Mission Beach for 25 years. In that time, a family of seven cassowaries became frequent visitors and made themselves at home on her property. Ingrid was lucky to witness the family have chicks and grow into mature birds with their own chicks, as they strutted around her home and garden over the years. Cassowaries are listed as endangered, and there are less than 1,400 in existence.

Two years ago, the unthinkable happened. Roaming domestic dogs tore through her home and over four months killed the family of cassowaries and all their chicks. After killing the cassowaries, the domestic dogs returned, broke through the fly-wire and tried to attack Ingrid within her own home. Two out of the pack of six dogs were caught in the National Park trap, but as they were collared they were returned by Council, without penalty to their owners. The other uncollared dogs were never caught. They all belonged to locals and were all allowed to roam at night becoming serial killers.

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