Cancer survivor 'succumbed to chicken attack'

By: News Desk
Published: 11:13 PM, 16 Feb, 2023
Cancer survivor 'succumbed to chicken attack'
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A grandfather was killed by his violent chicken that previously attacked a child, an inquest in Ireland has heard, a UK paper reported.

Cancer survivor Jasper Kraus, who was living near Ballinasloe at the time, was killed on April 28 last year after he was attacked by a Brahma chicken. The 67-year-old Dutchman, formerly from The Hague, Netherlands, suffered a heart attack after the bird drove its spur into his leg, causing him to lose litres of blood.

Police officers and his daughter Virginia Guinan found Mr Kraus lying in a pool of blood from the wound on the back of his leg. His lodger said he was able to whisper the word 'rooster' as he lost and regained consciousness. Paramedics performed CPR on the victim but their efforts were unsuccessful.

Ms Guinan, 33, told an inquest into her father's death that she raced to the house to find ambulance crews already at the grim scene, the Irish Mirror reported. She had been contacted by her father's lodger, Corey O'Keeffe, who had been living with Mr Kraus for two years and looked after the animals.

Mr O'Keeffe had just returned home from a night shift at 8 am. Before heading to bed, he fed the animals and greeted Mr Kraus. Not long after, the inquest heard, the tenant was woken by the Dutchman shouting 'come quick'. The lodger performed CPR for 25 minutes on the victim before an ambulance arrived, according to Galway Beo.

Giving evidence, he said blood was coming out of Mr Kraus's leg and that he noticed a large wound in the man's calf and scratches on his other leg. As he was falling in and out of consciousness, Mr Kraus told his tenant 'rooster', the inquest heard. He eventually lost so much blood that he suffered a heart attack.

Dr Annette Jennings told the inquest in a deposition read out at the hearing that paramedics were attempting to resuscitate Mr Kraus when she arrived at the scene in Killahornia, County Roscommon. He was pronounced dead at 3.24 pm.  She said the circumstances around the man's death were unusual on account of the wound being inflicted by a chicken.

Dr Ramadan Shatwan, who carried out an autopsy on Mr Kraus, said the victim's face was covered in dried blood but that no cuts on his face were found. He also told the inquest that his lower limbs were covered in dried blood. The cause of death was due to lethal cardiac arrhythmia in the context of severe coronary atheroma and cardiomegaly, Dr Shatwan said.

Ms Guinan said when she arrived at her father's house, she found her father in a pool of blood, with paramedics performing CPR. She told the inquest that she followed the trail of blood to the Brahma chicken, which she said had blood on its claws. The bereaved daughter said she knew it was the culprit because it had previously 'attacked my daughter', The Irish Mirror said.

She told the inquest that she had wanted to get rid of the chicken, but that her father, who was a big animal lover, wanted to keep it. 'My dad protested – he had too big of a heart and didn't want me to get rid of the rooster, so dad took it instead,' the newspaper reported. Mr Kraus – a father of two and grandfather of two – was suffering from other health issues at the time of his death. He was in remission from cancer and the coroner said his heart was 'severely calcified'.

He had been outside visiting his dog's grave when he was attacked. Ms Guinan said the family knew her father's heart 'was bad'. She said she had to clean up his blood in the house after the attack and called for more support to be given to families who suffer from similar tragedies. She also used the inquest as an opportunity to warn others of the dangers of owning chickens – even breeds considered safe such as the Brahma. Mr Kraus is thought to be one of the few people in the world to die in such a way. 

'People should be aware of the signs and get rid of any bird as soon as they show signs of aggression,' she told the inquest, according to The Mirror.