Peacock attack near Serangoon Gardens leaves toddler with stitches on face

General anaesthesia was needed for the operation as the wound was too deep.

Mandy How | December 01, 2021, 05:58 PM

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A three-year-old girl was left with a 3cm stitch on her face after being attacked by a household's pet peacock in a housing estate near Serangoon Gardens.

The incident occurred on Nov. 28, along a stretch of private property at Tavistock Avenue.

According to the child's mother, Kris Chan, the family was walking along the street after a session at the playground when they spotted a house with a peacock.

Chan said the unit's gate was "wide open", with the peacock inside the compound.

However, as her three-year-old stood outside the gate and looked in, the peacock charged out and attacked the child "aggressively", Chan claimed.

Chan's husband then rushed to protect the toddler, and sustained some scrapes and scratches during the tussle.

Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook

Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook

Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook

The family proceeded to the hospital, where the child had to be put under general anaesthesia for the cleaning and stitching of her wound.

While waiting at the A&E. Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook

After the wound was cleaned by A&E staff. Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook.

Getting ready to go into operating theatre. Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook.

One day post-operation. Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook.

The outfit worn during the incident. Photo via Kris Chan/Facebook.

Both parties in dispute

The Chan family and the peacock's owner are currently in dispute over who should take responsibility for the attack.

On Nov. 30, Chan's husband managed to speak to the resident after his second visit of the day.

However, the owners, after apparently consulting their lawyers and the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), maintained that they were not at fault, as the toddler had reportedly provoked the peacock by staring at it.

The residents apparently added that they would decide how much to compensate the Chan family after the medical bill comes, if at all.

Upset by the lack of an apology and responsibility taken, Chan insisted that the incident was on the owners, as the free-roaming bird had charged out of its premises.

Chan had also accused the owners of being reluctant to show the CCTV footage from the day.

"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?" Chan wrote.

Chan added that she has made a police report, but was told that it was not a criminal offence.

In Singapore, it is legal to keep up to 10 non-commercial poultry, a term which includes peacocks.

While commenters on Facebook have been sympathetic to Chan's situation, forum users on HardwareZone said the parents should have kept a tighter eye on their child.

The peacock in question

When we visited the estate earlier in August, a peacock was spotted strutting its stuff at the same avenue.

Passers-by are advised not to go too near to the peacock, as it is one daring bird that has no qualms about exhibiting behaviour that suggests it is either trying to mate with you or attack you.

Photo by Mandy How

Video by Mandy How.

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Top photo by Mandy How and Kris Chan