According to a Floridian auction house, the world-famous cassowary that killed its owner is set to go under the hammer, according to the dead man’s wishes.
Back in 2016, we shook our fist at the price tag that a legitimate murder weapon fetched online. George Zimmerman, the man who fired the shot who killed Trayvon Martin (and was later acquitted), sold the weapon online, eventually selling it for $250,000. While the concept of ‘murderabilia‘ has taken root, you could easily say that the concept has clearly jumped the shark…or in this case, the cassowary.
Earlier this stupid month, we learned the story of Marvin Hajos, the 75-year-old who was killed by his pet cassowary and made worldwide headlines in the process. Mmm schadenfreude.
However, the story is not over, and unfortunately, far stupider than first thought.
You see, one of Marvin’s final wishes was that his flock of over one hundred endangered species would be sold off after his death. A company named ‘Gulf Coast Livestock Auction’ is happy to enable the event, but is quick to mention that the media is unwelcome according to their Facebook, “…anyone seen videotaping in any capacity will be deemed trespassing and will be escorted out by security,” the post warned. “Your video equipment may or may not be confiscated until all video recordings are distroyed (sic). Please do not comprise (sic) our position.”
Gulf Coast Livestock Auction Manager Jammi Wilson said in a brief phone interview with The Gainsville Sun that “I don’t want to talk about it,” she said, shortly before hanging up. “It’s really no one’s business.”
According to the article, all the necessary licenses and processes are in place to sell the animals, so it’s all above board in a legal, if extremely unethical sense. However, the event does have a title, which sounds like a title card from a Wes Anderson movie, with the event on Saturday officially known as “the absolute auction and complete dispersal of the animal estate of Marvin Hajos.”
The animals on offer include two cassowaries, five ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs, 19 macaws, 26 marmosets and an emu.
Hajos’ lemurs for sale, according to The Gainsville Sun “are classified as critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.”
Clearly, the clickbait cassowary is the bell-cow of the auction, however, the local authorities are not interested in kicking the door down. According to the spokesman of The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Robert Klepper, the agency is aware of the sale, but was quick to note that “…the sale of captive wildlife to and from properly licensed individuals is not prohibited in Florida…If an individual is properly licensed to own/exhibit/sell captive wildlife, no additional license is required for a sale of this nature”
According to Klepper, “Florida’s captive wildlife regulations are among the most stringent in the nation…individuals who possess wildlife in Florida must be licensed and meet all safe housing and humane treatment standards.”
So, we’re all good if your paperwork is in order. Ok, Florida.