Boy, 3, rushed to hospital after being attacked by ‘aggressive’ peacock at zoo

A three-year old boy had to be rushed to hospital after he was attacked by an "aggressive" peacock at Paignton Zoo.

Plymouth mum Becky Gittoes arrived at the animal attraction on June 19, with her husband and two young children at around 1pm expecting to have a fun-filled family day.

However, after just one hour the day quickly turned into a parent's worst nightmare after their son Ezra became was attacked by a peacock which left him covered in blood, DevonLive reports.

Becky said: ''We were sat in a designated park with picnic benches and a climbing frame for kids to play on, it was full of kids. The peacock was roaming around, Ezra was nowhere near it.

'Suddenly, it just charged at Ezra out of nowhere and clawed his forehead. It was horrible. 'If it had been a couple of inches lower Ezra could have been blinded.

''We were told to take Ezra straight to hospital, he is now on antibiotics and is going to be left with a scar.

''No one from Paignton Zoo has contacted us since the attack. There is no signage warning us that the peacocks are aggressive.

''Why are they allowed in where children are if this can happen? This could have been prevented.''

The zoo has since said that signs tell visitors that the peacocks can sometimes peck and one of its first-aiders was quickly on the scene to help Ezra.

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Regular visitors to the zoo, Becky says that the family always enjoyed trips to the park and had even spent the day there celebrating Ezra's third birthday a few weeks ago.

Becky says the family stopped in one of the picnic areas located near The Ranch area within the zoo before the incident took place.

She said: ''Myself and my husband were sat on a bench with a coffee just watching the kids. There were two peacocks, some kids were looking at them but they weren't provoking or touching them.

''Ezra must have been the smallest in the park and that is why the peacock went for him.

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''There was blood all down his face. He was crying, I was crying, his sister was crying. My husband took charge and a first-aider arrived around five minutes later.

''They told us they were unable to help and we needed to take him to hospital. We were told to fill an accident form out at the zoo so we did that and I left my number.''

Becky says that despite leaving her contact number, the zoo has not been in touch since the incident.

Following the incident, a spokesperson for Paignton Zoo told DevonLive: "Paignton Zoo is renowned for its free-ranging peacocks as we've had them for many, many years.

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''Peacocks are not known to be aggressive but they can sometimes peck, so we have plenty of signs around the zoo (including in the picnic area where the incident occurred) advising our guests of this and that children should be supervised at all times.

''When this incident occurred a first-aider attended the child within minutes, they acted professionally and provided the appropriate care.

''After an incident, it is our procedure to ensure we speak to the staff involved to gather all of the relevant information before making contact with guests.

''We are now in contact with the family concerned and hope to see them back at Paignton Zoo soon.”

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