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Woman sues theme park over peacock attack

By Times Staff Writer
Published January 22, 2004

TAMPA - A South Florida woman is claiming that a peacock attack at Busch Gardens 31/2 years ago has left her with "permanent bodily injuries and neurological damage," according to documents filed Wednesday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

The complaint alleges that a male peacock attacked Elinita Thacker, a Broward County resident, during a visit to the Tampa amusement park sometime in June 2000. The attack occurred with such force that Thacker was "violently knocked to the pavement," according to court documents.

Thacker's Fort Lauderdale attorney, Clement R. Dean Jr., said in the complaint that Busch Gardens failed to properly train its employees to manage aggressive peacocks, and that the bird had a "propensity" to attack humans because it was mating season.

"We're not aware of this suit," said Gerard Hoeppner, director of public relations for Busch Gardens. "If and when such a suit is served, we'll review and respond accordingly."

[Last modified January 22, 2004, 01:46:01]

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