Atlanta neighborhood terrorized by an owl

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – The Brookwood Hills neighborhood is on high alert following a peculiar barred owl that has repeatedly attacked people.

“I felt something come down and grab me in the head,” said Rich Perkey. “I would like to feel comfortable running around the neighborhood without worrying about talons getting into my scalp.”

Experts report that it’s rare to be attacked by an owl, but if it does happen, it’s usually before winter when they’re trying to scare away the competition. But curiously, the Brookwood Hills owl has continued to wreak havoc for months.

“We were down to about 40 incidents, but I think those 40 people, some of them, were actually hit multiple times. So I understand we’re up to almost 80 now,” Elizabeth Buyarski said.

MNR agrees that this is a very bizarre situation.

“What we think happened was that this owl was raised by someone. When it fell out of the nest, this chick and someone raised it and it imprinted itself on a person,” said Kaitlin Goode, urban wildlife program manager at Georgia DNR.

She said she believed he was trying to get people’s attention and get food from them.

The DNR stalked the neighborhood trying to catch the owl and surprisingly for them they almost got close.

“We have nets with us as we walk. He came and fell on one of our employees and I saw him. Very surprised, it never works,” Goode said.

Neighbors said the attacks mostly happened at dusk and dawn, but also happened during the day, and he is not afraid of groups.

“They were waiting for the school bus and they were just kids and he just decided he wanted to play and started melting and coming towards them,” Buyarski said.

Goode said they will be out in the neighborhood next week, marching through the streets in an attempt to catch the owl. They will also set up a trap during their stay containing live mice. She said it wasn’t an easy task and could take weeks, but thinks for everyone’s safety, including the owl’s, it’s best to move her.


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