The Associated Press reports that police said that the bird likely attacked the man, Marvin Hajos, with its long claws. "The cassowary involved remains secured on private property at this time".
Authorities are still investigating the attack but it appears that the death was entirely accidental.
"My understanding is that the gentleman was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell".
Reports suggest the man fell, possibly while feeding the animal, and the startled bird attacked as a result.
A woman who identified herself as Hajos' fiancee told the publication that her partner was "doing what he loved".
When sheriff's deputies arrived they realized how serious the situation was, as the bird was a cassowary, a large and often aggressive species native to Australia. Cassowaries are considered by some to be the world's most risky bird.
This photo taken on August 23, 2017 shows a cassowary wandering about in New Guinea.
The largest of these flightless birds, the southern cassowary, can measure between 4-5.6 feet in height. It's known for its odd, distinctive headgear, known as a casque, and for its deadly kick, which earned it the title of "most unsafe bird in the world".
The San Diego Zoo's website calls the cassowary the "world's most unsafe bird" with a four-inch, "dagger-like" claw on each foot.
According to the San Diego Zoo, "the cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick". Powerful legs also help the cassowary run up to 31 miles per hour through the dense forest underbrush.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers cassowaries Class II wildlife, meaning they pose a danger to humans and are subject to specific cage requirements.
Washington National Zoo assistant bird curator Eric Slovak described the bird as "a big, 200-pound, six-foot bird roaming around eating fruit all day", noting that while they typically keep to themselves, their talons make them quite unsafe. The birds also have the ability to jump almost 7 feet straight up in the air and they are excellent swimmers. "You would wind up in the hospital for sure".
"It's just kind of a big, 200-pound, six-foot bird roaming around eating fruit all day", Slovak explained, adding: "I would not understand why anyone would want to keep a cassowary as a pet".