A council boss has been suspended over allegations that she bit the backside of her only male colleague in an otherwise all-women department.
The bizarre incident is believed to be the culmination of a series of office pranks which spectacularly backfired.
The man, in his early 20s, bled through his underwear and was later taken to hospital for a tetanus jab as a precaution. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, in South Wales, is now carrying out an internal investigation into the incident.
The authority has suspended the department manager, who has not been named but is in her 40s, pending the outcome. Junior female work colleagues who witnessed the alleged attack are due to be interviewed.
The matter first came to light when staff members reported the incident to their union, Unison.
Mark Fisher, Unison branch chairman, said he was made aware of the allegation last week through members working in the department. He said that the man is a Unison member who he understood had been taken to hospital for a precautionary tetanus jab.
He said: "It is a very unusual situation and hence that is why we acted as a trade union. We asked the council for a full investigation and it was the authority that made the decision to suspend the manager. I have worked in this area for a long time and I can say that when the allegation came to us we were shocked."
He said that he understood the alleged biting incident had been part of on-going office horse-play which got out of control. He added: "I understand that this is not an isolated incident there were a number of incidents and other horse-play that led up to it.
"There is an investigation under way now. If the allegation is proved it would be regarded as gross misconduct and a grounds for dismissal."
A council spokesman said: "Following a complaint, we have suspended an employee as a neutral act, as is standard procedure whilst an investigation is carried out. Therefore we are unable to comment any further."