A woman gathering eggs in Australia was killed when a rooster pecked repeatedly at her leg, striking a varicose vein.
The vein hemorrhaged, according to a study in Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, and she collapsed and later died. Two small lacerations on her leg were found during an autopsy, per Live Science.
Severe loss of blood was listed as the cause of death.
The woman had also been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
A professor who co-authored the study told USA Today, “It draws attention to the vulnerability of elderly folk with varicose veins to minor trauma, even from a rooster peck.”
A poultry sciences professor advised taking care around even small animals. A person being attacked by a hen or rooster can grab its leg and cradle it under an arm. That conveys dominance but won’t harm the animal, she said.
“Lethal rooster attacks are very rare,” the study’s co-author said, “but small animals can cause death from trauma.” Such deaths can be prevented. “If a vein is punctured, apply pressure to the bleeding point, lie down, elevate the leg and get help,” the co-author said, per Newsweek.