Family sues Hogle Zoo after child allegedly attacked by peacock

Mar 18, 2022, 11:44 AM | Updated: 3:50 pm
Utah's Hogle Zoo. (KSL TV)...
Utah's Hogle Zoo. (KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY— A family is suing the Hogle Zoo after their two-year-old was allegedly attacked by a peacock on April 30, 2021 according to court documents.

The court documents state that after leaving the monkey exhibit with the two-year-old in a stroller they let the child out to walk on their own when moments later a peacock pounced on them- scratching the child’s face just below the eye.

The peacock then allegedly tore the child’s shirt and scratched their back causing the child to fall forward, “flat on [their] forehead.”

The lawsuit states, “At the time of the attack, the Hogel Zoo [sic] knew that this peacock had attacked two children the day before, April 29, 2021. The Hogel Zoo was aware that at least one of these children required medical care as a result of the peacock’s attack.”

According to court documents, “A zoo employee told the child’s family that the attack was the fourth by the same peacock in two days.”

The suit alleges that the child will suffer economic damages “past and present” for medical care, along with noneconomic damages such as “pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement.”

The peacocks historically have freely roamed the zoo.

The family sustains that Hogle Zoo advertises to children but did not provide a reasonably safe environment for them to attend. Following the attacks Hogle Zoo “did not subdue or sequester the dangerous bird,” and instead allowed the bird to continue to roam freely.

“We are aware of the incident involving one of our free roaming peacocks and a young guest on April 30, 2021, and have received notice of the lawsuit that was recently filed. The safety of our guests, staff, and animals in our care is paramount,” Marilyn Hsiung, Hogle Zoo spokesperson said. “Shortly after the incident involving the young guest, Utah’s Hogle Zoo Animal Care Team and Safety Staff swiftly responded and proceeded to successfully capture and relocate all free-roaming peafowl. Currently, there are no free-roaming peafowl on zoo grounds. In order to protect the integrity of the process, the Zoo will address allegations of the complaint through the legal process.”

The lawsuit against the Hogle Zoo is for “Vicarious Liability, Premises Liability and Non-Delegable Duty, Negligence/Knowing and Reckless Indifference.

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Family sues Hogle Zoo after child allegedly attacked by peacock