Kate King, guest blogger travelled over 2500km to fulfill her dream…
In early Dec 2014, I was lucky enough to achieve two goals on my bucket list:
- Visit and explore the Daintree; and
- Spot a wild cassowary!
After two weeks of searching I was starting to believe that I would not see one of these endangered, ancient birds. I saw all the signs indicating their presence, I saw Casso poop, I saw the fruits they ate, I even tried one of the fruits they eat but not even a fleeting glimpse…On our last day we decided on a last-ditch attempt (and sacrificing snorkelling the GBR-another bucket list wish) to spot one of the approx 1000 birds left.
We rose early and headed for Jindalba National Park where there had been recent sightings. We ditched the boardwalk and took the 3km walking track. Literally tip-toing and sneaking through the forest desperately hoping that every noise we heard would be a cassowary…then ¾ into the walk (stalk) when I was starting to feel despair, there it was…a magnificent sub-adult…my world could end and I would be happy!!
We would have been satisfied with just that glimpse but we were treated to approx 40mins of watching/spying on this bird preen, forage, eat, bathe and just do it’s thing … magic. When we finally returned to our accommodation, we were looking at the footage we had captured only to have a cassowary appear from the forest! We then saw that cassowary another two times!!
As we had travelled from near Newcastle NSW and as a long-time supporter and advocator of Rainforest Rescue, it was just brilliant to see all the Rainforest Rescue signs and to see where my donations were going.
Driving down and around Buchanen Road (Cow Bay) was both awesome and heart-wrenching. A magical area of high conservation value but with the amount of ‘for sale’ and ‘sold’ signs around, it was easy to imagine the area being obliterated by property development, hence realising just how important RR’s ‘buy-back’ scheme really is.
It was re-assuring to see RR signs for the Baralba Corridor and also other local properties that were purchased by RR where plant regeneration was clearly in action. Without RR, so many properties and the endangered and endemic fauna and flora within them would already be gone … for good.
Congratulations Rainforest Rescue/Save the Cassowary and to anyone and everyone that contributes to RR- keep up the great work; donate, advocate, sponsor, volunteer and campaign! Lets make 2015 a great year for the worlds’ oldest rainforest and all of its inhabitants.