Joggers report horrifying owl attacks in Oregon park – Washington Post (blog)
Hi. I’m Sarah Larimer. I’m here today to talk to you about an important issue that is close to my heart.
Birds attacking people.
Guys. DO NOT CLOSE THIS TAB. I’m being real. Do you know how uncool bird attacks are?
They are extremely uncool.
If you don’t believe me — a human being who has both been chased by a goose as a child and pecked in the head by a tiny winged attacker as an adult — then maybe you should believe Ron Jaecks, a runner who was targeted by an owl at an Oregon park.
Jaecks was jogging near the baseball field about 5:15 a.m. Suddenly in the morning darkness his stocking cap was pulled from his head, and almost simultaneously he felt something puncture his scalp.
Jaecks thought he was dying.
“It was like a huge electric shock ran through my body, but also like I got hit in the head with a two-by-four all at the same time,” Jaecks said. “Or maybe a strike of lightning.”
Jaecks, 58, immediately began to run faster, trying to escape his assailant.
Running in circles and screaming, the general surgeon for Kaiser Permanente began to think that he was having a stroke or an aneurysm.
So. Kind of a turned-up-to-11-level response from Ron Jaecks, but no judgments here. The newspaper reports that there have now been four (FOUR) owl attacks in the general area of the park, including one on Brad Hilliard, who was hit while running on a track earlier this week.
According to the Statesman Journal, the bird straight-up lifted Hilliard’s hat off his head, and left him with a scratch.
“I turned around and my favorite running hat was gone,” Hilliard told the newspaper, adding: “I was just dumbfounded after the fact. I was like, ‘My hat is gone and I can’t see anything.”
Officials in Oregon think the attacks are coming from a barred owl (or there might be a pair? I’m still kind of unclear on that), which can be aggressive in mating season, Willamette University biology professor David Craig told the told the Statesman Journal.
The list of victims also includes 27-year-old Jordan Radke, who told the newspaper that he felt “searing, intense scrape” and eventually fled the scene. Radke thought he might have grazed a tree branch, but then spotted an owl, which swooped in again.
“When it happened a second time, I took off as fast as I could out of the park,” Radke said.
Ugh. Worst run ever. Maybe chill out, owl. People already have enough excuses not to go running. No one wants to add “strong possibility of bird attack” to the list.