Cage your pet birds, AVS warns after peacock thrashes toddler

At left, a peacock at Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park and at right, the bruised-up three-year-old who was attacked on Sunday. Photos: Rigels, Kris Chan/Facebook
At left, a peacock at Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park and at right, the bruised-up three-year-old who was attacked on Sunday. Photos: Rigels, Kris Chan/Facebook

Animal authorities warned pet owners today to keep their animals secure after a toddler was mauled by a peacock.

The Animal and Veterinary Service said an investigation was underway following Sunday’s attack of a girl in Serangoon Garden, which left her with extensive facial wounds that required stitches. 

“These pets must be kept in a bird-proof cage, house or enclosure that consists of a fine wire mesh netting capable of preventing any contact with any bird, poultry, or animal from outside the cage, house, or enclosure,” said the service’s Jessica Kwok, adding that the public can keep no more than 10 pets. 

Such pets include chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, quails, partridges, pheasants, domestic pigeons, guinea fowl, swans and peacocks.

Kris Chan said yesterday that she and her daughter, 3, were heading home from a playground at Haus Park when they stopped outside a house known around the neighborhood for keeping a peacock and other birds. She said her daughter was standing outside its “wide open” gate when the peacock “charged out and attacked” her. 

The girl suffered cuts and contusions to her face deep enough to require stitches. Photos of the aftermath showed blood staining her clothes. 

After confronting the homeowner, Chan said they refused to take any responsibility and insisted it was not their fault. They also refused to hand over surveillance footage and lawyered up.

“The peacock charged OUT, how is that not their fault? Are they saying looking is an offense and that my girl being attacked is her fault? She was just standing there looking and not doing anything else,” Chan wrote.

She said they don’t want anything more than basic justice.

“This happened to our beautiful little girl and we’re merely looking for a sincere apology, reasonable compensation and proper closure to this traumatic incident. That doesn’t seem too much to ask, is it?” she added.

Neighbors told reporters that it was common to see the “aggressive” peacock free roaming outside the residence, where the gates were often left open.

She said the police rejected a complaint they tried filing because it was not considered a criminal offense. The veterinary service had not responded to her complaints as of yesterday morning, she said.

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