Goat attacks family at Murcia zoo

LAST UPDATED: 18 Aug, 2008 @ 13:40
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Lee Levett A BRITISH tourist is seeking tighter controls at Spanish zoos after he and his family were allegedly attacked by a loose animal.

Lee Levett, who is on holiday in Spain with his young family, contacted the Olive Press 24 hours after claiming to have been attacked by a goat in Murcia’s Terra Natura zoo.

Nursing his injured thigh and arm, the property developer from Reigate in the south of England described how he feared for his two daughters lives as he shielded them from the crazed beast.

“I had to push them away as the goat charged us. If it had made contact with them, they would have been hit directly in the face. And at the speed it was running, I fear to think what would have happened,” he said.

He then explained how zoo officials were “not interested” when he told them what had happened and “ignored” him when he asked for the police to be called.
He also was stunned to discover that the angry four-foot-high goat was allowed to roam the zoo compound.

“Crazed eyes”

The family’s ordeal began as they made their way through the popular tourist attraction. Levett, 45, explained how he, his wife and two daughters had just visited the bear compound when they were confronted by the angry goat.

“We just opened the door to enter the next part of the zoo when we saw this big animal standing in our path. It had a long, shaggy coat and curly horns. I thought ‘something is not right here.’”

Levett, who is staying at the exclusive Mar Menor golf resort at La Manga, said how he quietly ushered his wife, Judith, and children, six-year-old Georgina and Francesca, 4, back into the previous enclosure.

“We had to do a double take as we could not believe what we had seen,” he said.

After a few minutes, however, the goat was still there. “My youngest daughter opened the door again, and the beast was there, staring at us with its crazed yellow eyes. It then put its head down and charged at us. It was terrifying,” he said.

“Luck”

He then told the Olive Press how it was “sheer luck” that his daughters were not seriously injured or even killed by the animal.

“I pushed my family out of the way and got hit by the goat on the left thigh and arm. It hit me with such force it sent me sprawling before I managed to fight it off. If either of my girls had been hit, I dread to think what would have happened.

“It was lucky I was there to save them.”

Bruised and battered, Levett was left even more horrified when he made his way back to the zoo’s entrance.

“I went to the first aid office but nobody seemed to care that I had been attacked by an animal. I asked them to call the police, but they refused and simply told me to fill in a complaint form,” he claimed.

“I cannot understand how this was allowed to happen. I do not want anyone to go through the same ordeal.”

A spokesman for Terra Natura denied the attack and said Levett had provoked the animal.

“After more than 200,000 visitors, this is the first time we have had reports of an animal, especially a herbivore, attacking a human. We believe Mr Levett provoked the goat in some way for it to act like it did.

“He also refused all offers of medical advice and behaved in an abusive manner towards zoo staff,” Antonio Pacheco said.

Levett denies this.

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30 COMMENTS

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  1. Why would a father of two young children provoke an animal and therefore risk injury? There is no logic to this. The head of this Zoo should be sacked and Mr Levett should denounce and start legal proceedings for his injuries. Elephants are herbivores too – would you want one of them on the rampage outside of an enclosure?

    This sort of response from the Zoo really gives Spain a bad name – they just hate foreigners, tourists or extranjeros imho.

  2. This is one of the funniest stories I have read in a long time. This guy should keep to the golf course and the critiscism of the other two correspondents of Spain and the Spanish is totally unfounded, I have been doing business in Spain for the last seven years and the people are very easy to work with and very hospitable and helpful so if these people dislike them so much they should go elsewhere and see if their more welcome there.( I hear Siberia is quite good these days)

  3. Mr Cunningham, clearly it is you that has spent far too much time on the golf course and as a result it is almost certain that you do not have children because if you did you would not find anything remotely funny in this story. If this animal was left to roam the zoo as claimed and if indeed the animal attacked Mr Levett and his family as claimed then the matter should have been investigated and the zoo closed pending the outcome of that investigation as would have happened in the UK. The Spanish may well be helpful and very hospitable to you when doing business as they have something to gain, presumably your money as it can’t possibly be your sparkling wit or charming personality. Would the Bulls in the Bull ring feel the same way as you as they are ritualistically slaughtered but then again you probably find that funny as well or would it only be real spectacle for you if the Matador was a child. I would also remind you that Bulls are also herbivores however, that seems to have escaped the attention of the zoo along with the goat. As for your comment that Siberia is “quite good these days” do you think that the people of Siberia living in the conditions they have to endure would agree with such a flippant remark. In future give a little more thought to your comments before publishing them for the world to read that way you will not appear such an idiot.

  4. Oh please was this goat a giant goat, your details are amazing, maybe we should all go and see this giant goat. I am sure if you were attacked as you say the zoo would have been very concerned. Mr Levett I can only see one silly goat round here, stop bleating and get back to your golf.

  5. Jackie are you on drugs? There are no such thing as giant goats, Next it will be pink Elephants, I would lay of the sherry if I were you but then thank God I’m not. You also seem obsessed as does the previous respondent with Mr Levett playing Golf, you do know I take it that it is possible that people visit Spain and indeed stay at Golf resorts without playing golf. I do not recall reading in the story that Mr Levett was playing golf indeed with two young children I would be most surprised if he has the time to do so. From what any intelligent person would surmise from this story is that a father of two children has taken his family on a day trip to the zoo and been attacked by an animal of normal proportion (we do not live in Lilliput) without provocation and thereafter he has not been given the appropriate response by the zoo officials. as a result of this he has tried to bring this to the attention of the general public in an attempt to avoid this happening again which in my opinion shows a level of compassion that you clearly are incapable of. Did you attended the same course on how to be a decent human being as Mr Cunningham, if so ask for a refund.

  6. Mr Levitt claims that ‘he ushered his family to safety back into the previous enclosure’ He then goes on to say that after a few minutes, the goat was still there, staring at him. He then says ‘it put its head down and charged at us’
    WHAT WERE YOU DOING GOING BACK THERE FOR IF YOU THOUGHT YOUR FAMILY WAS IN DANGER??!!!
    Why not just back off, and then report what you thought was a ‘dangerous animal’? This is a zoo. It is where animals live. And they should be in their own natural environment.
    We used to have the largest pygmy goat herd in the UK before moving out to live in Spain. They are the most gentle and friendly of creatures, and never attack unless provoked.

  7. Whilst I respect all of the comments made what a strange bunch of people you all are! I have a couple of things to say about this story and the comments made. firstly, the story is not totally accurate and as we all know the press are prone to exaggeration. Secondly I did not approach the paper in the hope of some sort of fame or a perverse wish to have my actions criticised by people that did not witness the event but simply to post a warning to other families that may visit the zoo and encounter this animal and the attitude of the staff employed by the zoo, in the naive hope that it would do some good. I also would like to point out that I do not play golf and thought that rather than sitting by the pool for the fifth day running my girls may like to do something different, frankly now I wish I hadn’t. The goat in question was not a pygmy goat nor was it a giant it was however a very large mountain goat with large curly horns. You would think under the circumstances we were in that the animal must be safe or it would not be roaming around the zoo freely and I am sure for the hundreds of visitors before and after us it must be however, the same can be said for the families that have friendly faithful pet dogs that one day kill a child without warning or provocation. The incident happened in a split second as my youngest daughter opened the gate and I did not have time to think that there was anything strange. I simply as an instinct pushed my girls behind me and went ahead of them. As I turned to look at them that’s when the goat ran at me butting me in the leg and trapping my arm against my thigh, We did not provoke the animal it simply took a disliking to us and did what goats do best. After all if I am not mistaken this is how male goats fight for their territory. The impact knocked me to the ground. I did not have to fight it off as the paper stated. I am 6’1″ and almost 14 stone so that should give an idea of the impact and that this was not a small animal. I am not going to continue to try and justify my actions any further I just feel disappointed that the aim of the story seems to have been lost. I truly hope that the the goat does not do it again as the next family may not be fortunate enough to walk away with just a few cuts and bruises. My pride however may take longer to heal.

  8. Some of the people responding to this thread have clearly had a lobotomy. Mr Levett had young children with him and that could have led to an injury – if it knocked Mr Levett down, it would have easily fractured a childs skull. When you have young children with you, you do not want to antagonise any animal (or indeed anything) on purpose. The beast should have been tethered, at the very least.

    The response from the Zoo to Mr Levett shows the same old “silly foreigner” response that gives Spain a bad name. Just see the other stories on here for more of the same. I love Spain and the vast majority of people are very nice too, but some institutions need to be dragged in to the 21st Century on many things and they need to admit when they are wrong. Like in this case.

  9. Mr Levett thank you for clarifying matters for those that could not see the meaning behind your actions. It is such a pity that you could not have the last word.

    Jackie, I was just wondering, you don’t happen to be an Aries do you?

  10. Jackie, wake up and get real; there were two stabbings in my local town just last week. Just because you don’t read about crimes doesn’t mean they do not happen in Spain. These problems are world-wide. Grow a brain will you?

  11. No I am not an aries, and sophie, maybe living in a bad area is your problem. the problem here is people bringing nanny state britain to spain, they just dont work together. of course crime happens hear but not on the uk scale. my brain is fully grown thank you, that is why I find this story ridiculous especially from a grown man.

  12. A Capricorn then? Surely you must be some sort of goat. You most defiantly seem to have more of an affinity with that particular species than with humans.

    Maybe if the Zoo, yes the Zoo remember the Zoo it is after all what this story was about in the first place or had that slipped your fully grown mind, if the Zoo is ever looking for a goat handler you could apply for the post. I am sure you would do a marvellous job, well most certainly better than at present. Just don’t forget to make sure the ruddy thing is not left to roam about unattended. After all you would not want a child to be injured would you! Or would you?

  13. no not a capricorn either, I would give up if I was you, I shall tell you as it is obviously bothering you I am a saggitarius ok. I will not reply to your rantings as I have moved on and I suggest you do the same. yawn

  14. Oh Jackie, not the “good and bad area” nonsense again. 90% of the happenings in pueblos go unpublished – you read the Sur In English and think that this is ALL the news in its entirety! There are no good and bad areas, just good and bad people. Get back on topic will you and just admit that the animal could quite easily have butted a child in the head or face. Arguing against that possibility proves that you like arguing just for the sake of it and have no concept of reality.

  15. I live in one of the pueblos, and have lived here for 12 years. If this goat was that dangerous he would have butted many people. and I am sure that if he was dangerous the zoo would have been denounced by now, because many spanish denounce at the drop of a hat. there you have learnt something today. typical forum thing, sad people with no lives. now find something to do will you.

  16. You really are a very strange person! You seem to think that that this story is a fabrication and that it is a myth that goats butt each other or indeed anything else that they see as a threat.
    As it is impossible to reason in the face of such ignorance and blind stupidity and as it would seem that all you want to do is argue for the sake of the argument itself I stall admit defeat.
    YES YOU WIN! May you and your heard graze in peaceful tranquillity for all eternity.

  17. Well, I was thinking of moving to Andulacia, so decided to do some research – I found this website – newspaper – tonight. Having read about starving horses and mad goats, I think I will stay in Asturias.

    Mr Levett don’t feel bruised by senseless words, just hope that this report stops at least one other person getting hurt.

  18. Jackie, you’re waffling now and losing the argument even faster. Perhaps the zoo has been denounced before, who knows? Do you? All that matters is that on the day in question there was this problem with the animal – that is what the thread is about. You can go back to your Sur in English now LOL.

  19. I think this was a very bad think for the man wife and children. Also if the Goat was at the Zoo outside the fence. That makes it even worse. I also understand that between languages when people behave at times wrong in either side of the different languages even if they have a legit claim then trouble gets even worse. Perhaps this is a case of again language differences that with such differences trigger human nature. The problem is that when this situation happens between the same cultures but different languages the matter gets then worse. The people of England and Spain should be more cautious when these clashes take place. I have seen the rude and twisted ways or many native English native speakers here in the United States of America. I have also seen the twisted ways of many Spanish speakers and other groups. I was brought up bilingual since my childhood with both Spanish and English but again have notice the coin of the language differences all the time. That was one of the reasons for some of my co workers to have discriminated against me at my recent 10 years union job. They have made claims that such was not discrimination but it was and the matter is still under investigation and will lead me to file charges in legal civil courts. People these things injure people and I would say that in England and Spain there are plenty people that appear to advance in such clashes.

  20. I understand what that guy had said about the goat attack. My neighbors goat attack me on thursday 1-13-11. I also fight with this goat I try to get away and it too stand 5ft tall and head butted me over and over. I sore but I wouldnt want nobody to go through that. I called the police. and the animal control couldnt do nothing about it but if that would of been a small child they would of been there real fast. I was fighting for my life and I was yelling help for anybody to hear me. Its not a laughing story. going to drs for a goat attack. attack of any animal should be taken from the home. they take pitbul when they attack. at least the police help me with this. thank you to the police to help save the people. thats all I got to say.

  21. fred Im so glad you find my goat attack funny if I would of been hurt worse or what if that was a child it attack would you have laugh at that still. I fought for my life fred and I didnt find it funny at all. that goat could of hurt badly. they were going to take me to the hostipal because of my breathing. my pain for your laughther vk

  22. why do people think that goat attacks are funny. this goat that attack me has cause me great pain in my lower back. if this would of been a child that was attack they would of took that goat away. I fought the goat but it was like fighting a man that was stronger then me. is it funny when you get kick by a horse or biten by a dog. no so why do people laugh at people who get injury by a goat. any animal can cause great pain. people at my work think its so funny but bIm not laughing. IM in pain.so to them that is funny. next time I will let the goat get me down and break some ribs or crack my head open for more laughs. please people attack of any animal is not funny. I understand what lee said aboout saving his kids from the goat that attack him instead. I know what it like to be attack by a goat and how it hurts. and the bruising all over.

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