Monday Jan 04, 2016
SALEM: Oregon, USA has put up signs warning joggers in a park where multiple attacks have been reported. The perpetrator is not a mugger but an owl that has no been nicknamed ‘Owlcapone’.
The owl gained notoriety last winter when it attacked multiple joggers. A surgeon who was reportedly attacked in the Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem said the owl hit him so hard he thought he was having a stroke or an aneurysm. Another was deprived of his running cap.
Explaining the situation city parks department spokeswoman Tibby Larson said, "It's silent. You're just walking along, minding your own business, and an owl comes silently at you from behind,"
While rare, owl attacks are not an unheard of phenomenon in the US. Joggers however seem to be the prime target. In October joggers were attacked by owls in Maryland while in Louisiana a police officer was attacked on Christmas Eve.
In Oregon people in the affected neighborhood have been advised to wear hats or to use an umbrella just to be safe.
When the first attacks were reported last year, to help amplify the warning to unsuspecting pedestrians and joggers, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow suggested on air that the city should post warning signs. Her idea was picked up by the Salem city department and according to the parks and transportation department, 20 signs have been put up.
While police in Salem continue to monitor reports of owl attacks, but the police department’s spokesman Lieutenant Dave Okada told journalists no owls have been arrested as yet.