A simple visit to a rooster’s pen turned deadly after one of the birds turned on an Australian woman, pecking her to death.
According to a report published in journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, the 76-year-old was collecting eggs at her home in Australia when a rooster turned aggressive.
The report states that the woman received a lethal peck to one of her varicose veins, which caused a hemorrhage, leading her to collapse.
An autopsy found that she bled out until death, otherwise known medically as exsanguination, the report continued.
According to Newsweek, the woman also had a history of high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia (where the blood contains too much fat) and diabetes.
One of the report’s authors says that this constitutes a very “rare” death, but that it “demonstrates that even relatively small domestic animals may be able to inflict lethal injuries in individuals if there are specific vascular vulnerabilities present,” like varicose veins.
WATCH BELOW: Dealing with varicose veins
Roger Byard, a pathology professor at the University of Adelaide and co-author of the report, explained that the case draws attention “to the vulnerability of elderly folk with varicose veins to minor trauma, even from a rooster peck,” he told the news publication.
“These deaths are preventable,” he continued. “If a vein is punctured apply pressure to the bleeding point, lie down, elevate the leg and get help.”
The research is part of Byard’s project, which looks into accidental deaths. It hopes to provide useful information to prevent these in the future.
Speaking to ABC News, Byard said: “I’ve had a number of cases where people have just been wandering around in their home and just run into furniture which has caused a small injury.”
Varicose veins are large, swollen veins that often appear on the legs and feet, Medical News Today says.
While they aren’t inherently dangerous, they do require treatment if swelling, aching and painful legs result.
These types of veins can also be removed surgically if they are big enough, which is usually done under general anesthetic.