The Nashville Zoo opened a new double-wattled cassowary exhibit Thursday.
The cassowary is considered critically endangered in Australia’s rainforests due to loss of habitat, vehicle crashes, dog attacks and over-hunting.
It is also one of the most dangerous birds in the world, with claws on its large toes, the ability to run as fast as 30 mph and jump nearly five feet in the air.
The exhibit, sponsored by the H.G. Hill Realty Company, is featured right across from the popular Kangaroo Kickabout.
While the Nashville Zoo has had cassowaries on exhibit for years, the new habitat is designed to create an ideal environment for breeding. In captivity, breeding of this species has been very limited.
Due to the cassowary’s solitary nature, the new exhibit will be split into two yards connected by gates so that the male and female can have access to each other during breeding season.
Two additional yards away from public view will house another male and future offspring.
Females in the wild typically mate with multiple males during a breeding season.
The new habitat aims to accommodate a more natural habitat for cassowary breeding.