A toddler in Curitiba, Brazil, had to undergo plastic surgery after a monkey climbed through a balcony door and bit a chunk out of her head Wednesday.

Julia Balardim, who was 21 months old, was watching television when the animal opened the balcony door and entered the ground floor flat in search of food. The toddler’s mother Luciana, who had gone to the kitchen, rushed back on hearing her daughter’s screams.

Her mother then tried to push away the animal that fought back, causing deep scratches on her arm that needed stitches.

Though she managed to push aside the monkey, the toddler had to undergo emergency plastic surgery in order to get parts of her forehead reconstructed.

The toddler’s father told Mirror on Sunday that the child suffered a horrific bite, due to which the bone underneath the skull was exposed. Many also thought the girl would have been killed if her mother hadn’t reacted on time.

"My wife fought with all her strength to get the monkey off (Julia) but he wouldn’t let go and got back on top of her. She then grabbed hold of the creature by the fur and pulled him off. His claws scratched into her before she was able to throw him out of the window and slam the balcony doors so he couldn’t get back in. The monkey left two deep wounds at the top of our daughter’s head. It bit down into her skull exposing the bone underneath and left another deep scratch in her face. If (Luciana) hadn’t acted quickly, the monkey could have killed our child,” the toddler’s father Fernando said.

He added his family especially his wife and the eldest daughter were still shaken by the incident.

"We’re now trying to deal with the psychological consequences and the nightmares. My family are staying with relatives because they are afraid the monkey will come back. My eldest daughter saw a brown dog the other day and started screaming saying it was the monkey,” he added.

The toddler was under medical care and was recovering post the plastic surgery.

“She is being closely monitored because she suffered a serious bite from a wild animal. There is a whole protocol of medical care that needs to be done before she can be discharged," Fernando explained.

Rosi Raqsa, their neighbor who called the ambulance, said, “The screams of terror from the family were horrendous. The mum and her daughter were covered in blood with the baby’s head cut open. I realized what had happened when I saw the monkey running away.”

People living in the area said the monkey first appeared in the locality around two months ago.

"We alerted the environmental agencies when the howler monkey first appeared close to the buildings. We’ve been waiting on them to remove the animal from the area but they failed to respond to our concerns despite our warnings this could happened,” apartment supervisor, Ed Dimas said.