Three-year-old Nova was playing in her backyard sandbox when a young elk calf attacked and bit her.
“It bit me on the arm,” the terrified toddler said to the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The girl’s mother, Maria Schelin, was close by and reacted quickly to save her child from further danger.
“I suddenly heard a loud scream. I threw myself over the hedge, grabbed Nova and ran back into the house,” Schelin.
The elk, which was apparently drunk after having binged on yeasted apples, made a swift, if somewhat stumbling, getaway from the family’s terraced house in the quiet town of Kungälv outside of Gothenburg.
According to Hans von Essen at the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet) it is not uncommon for elk to roam in residential areas.
“But I have never heard of anyone being bitten, that is very unusual,” he explained.
“The risk is more that an elk can rush forwards and kick out with its front legs.”
The dangerous beast had been spotted nearby on several occasions prior to the attack and returned to the area later that day in an apparent search for more apples.
This time, however, local residents took no chances and a group of hunters shot the inebriated elk, putting an end to any further neighbourhood terror.
Little Nova escaped the incident with a bruise on her arm but the whole experience had given her quite a shock.
“She just sat and trembled,” said the girl’s mother.