Australia’s leading wildlife experience, Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas, celebrated World Cassowary Day on Saturday 26th September in style, with a 20th birthday party for Airlie, our male resident Southern Cassowary.
The birthday celebrations included a special birthday cake for Airlie and a birthday singalong, with guests taking part in the festivities during the 9:30am Rainforest Feeding Tour.
Wildlife Habitat Manager Clare Anderson said that the birthday celebrations for Airlie went hand-in-hand with World Cassowary Day.
“With cassowaries hitting the headlines of late, it’s wonderful to be able to create awareness of a positive nature for this iconic species,” she said.
“Being able to guarantee sightings of this endangered bird at our park, and impart knowledge to our guests about its conservation, is one of the many benefits in working with such a species.”
By celebrating World Cassowary Day, Wildlife Habitat aims to increase awareness and share information about the cassowary’s life history, conservation status and pathways to survival.
The Curlew Café at Wildlife Habitat also served special treats throughout the day, including Cassowary Fruit Bowls, Cassowary Spiders for children, and Cassowary Cocktails for adults.
Here are our top 20 Airlie and Cassowary facts!
- Born at Airlie Beach Zoo.
- He came to Wildlife Habitat on the 20th December 2004.
- His favourite food are grapes and meal worms.
- He hates honeydew melon!
- He loves racing after staff.
- He prefers a solitary existence.
- He loves to come up to the boardwalk to photobomb visitors photos!
- He is a favourite amongst staff because of his inquisitive nature.
- He is a co-operative cassowary who allows staff to do their work quickly!
- He loves to eat rocks, which helps with his digestion.
- He weighs between 40-50 kgs.
- He is 1.4m tall.
- He is smaller than our female cassowary.
- His casque is used to resonate sound when calling in the rainforest.
- He has daggers on his inner toes.
- The male incubates the eggs and also assumes all parental responsibilities, raising the young.
- The Southern Cassowary is a keystone species of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest.
- Chicks can breed from 3 years of age, but don’t get full colouration until 5 years.
- The cassowary egg is a dark green avocado colour.
- The Southern Cassowary is listed as endangered on the EPBC Threatened Species list.
World Cassowary Day 2016
Will be celebrated in the Daintree, with festivities planned in Cape Tribulation and Kuranda. Wildlife Habitat will be assisting with co-ordinating the Cape Tribulation celebrations and we look forward to seeing you there!