By Jamie Kennedy
ATLANTA (WGCL) — The Brookwood Hills neighborhood is on high alert as the result of one particular barred owl that has attacked people multiple times.
“I felt something just come down and grab me on the head,” said Rich Perkey. “I would like to feel comfortable running around the neighborhood without fear of talons coming into my scalp.”
Experts report it’s rare to be attacked by an owl but if it does happen, it’s usually before winter when they try to scare out competition. But oddly, the Brookwood Hills owl has continued to wreak havoc for months.
“We were up to about 40 incidents, but I think those 40 people some of them have actually been hit multiple times. So, I understand we’re up to close to 80 now,” said Elizabeth Buyarski.
The DNR agrees this is a very bizarre situation.
“What we think happened is that this owl was raised by somebody. When it fell out the nest this chick and somebody raised it and it imprinted on a person,” said Kaitlin Goode, Urban Wildlife Program Manager with the Georgia DNR.
She said she believes it is trying to get people’s attention and get food from them.
The DNR has been staking out the neighborhood trying to catch the owl and surprisingly to them, they almost came close.
“We have nets with us while we are walking. It did come and swoop down at one of our employees and I saw it. Very surprised, that never works,” Goode said.
Neighbors said the attacks happen mainly at dusk and dawn but have also happened during the day, and it is not afraid of groups.
“They were waiting for the school bus and just being kids and it just decided it wanted to play and started swooping and coming at them,” Buyarski said.
Goode said they will be out in the neighborhood next week, walking the streets trying to net the owl. They will also set up a trap while they are there containing live mice. She said it’s not an easy job and could take weeks but believes for everyone’s safety including the owl’s, it’s best to relocate it.
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