An owl attacked a Washington woman twice.  Biologist says it’s becoming more and more common

An owl attacked a Washington woman twice. Biologist says it’s becoming more and more common

Barred owls are identified to be aggressive and territorial. A barred owl much like this one just lately attacked a girl in Washington State – twice.

Kena Betancur/AFP through Getty Photos

Kirsten Mathisen was strolling alone within the woods close to her Hansville, Washington house when she was attacked.

There was no warning. His attacker was fast and quiet, however left his mark.

“It was like getting hit at the back of the top by somebody carrying rings,” Mathisen informed NPR.

Fortuitously, she was capable of acquire photographs and a video of her attacker: a white barred owl.

The assault was spontaneous, Mathisen stated. She was simply strolling, like she at all times does. In actual fact, she had seen that owl earlier than and there had by no means been an issue.

Kirsten Mathisen after one of her attacks by a barred owl.

Kirsten Mathisen after considered one of her assaults by a barred owl.

Kirsten Mathisen

When she bought house, her boyfriend helped disinfect her scalp – now bloody and reduce – and she or he informed him the unbelievable story. Later, on the request of her buddies, she went to the physician, who really useful that she get a tetanus shot to keep away from any additional issues with the owl’s bacteria-laden claws.

Mathisen wasn’t going to be stored captive in her home, so she did her greatest to keep away from the owl’s territory.

“I used to be identical to, ‘OK, I will not be strolling this manner for a number of days.’ However then, precisely every week later, the next Saturday, I used to be in my driveway a lot nearer to house, and the identical factor.

This barred owl attacked Kirsten Mathisen twice.

This barred owl attacked Kirsten Mathisen twice. “I do not need the owl to be put down or something like that. It is very lovely,” she says. Biologist Jonathan C. Slaght says confrontations between owls and people are extra frequent now as a result of diminished availability of dense forests that enable owls to be extra remoted.

Kirsten Mathisen

Sure, the owl has struck once more. This time he left behind 5 – 6 deeper cuts and far bloodier Mathisen.

She thought, “What is going on on?

She took to Reddit for solutions when native wildlife authorities have been sluggish to reply. Some folks stated it was cursed. Others joked that she missed her acceptance letter to Hogwarts.

Much more folks shared along with her a preferred idea concerning the demise of Kathleen Peterson, whose husband was discovered responsible of killing her. The documentary The staircase lined the case. Those that do not consider Michael Peterson killed his spouse suggest she was fatally injured in an aggressive owl assault.

Mathisen additionally discovered a number of different tales about folks within the Washington state space who had been attacked by different aggressive barred owls. A West Seattle runner posted her very related story on Reddit. She found a unique way to proceed procuring with out being attacked: She places on an owl masks on the again of her head. The sea ​​tac city even put up a warning signal at a neighborhood park to warn guests of its owl downside.

The scalp wounds Kirsten Mathisen received from an aggressive barred owl.

The scalp wounds Kirsten Mathisen acquired from an aggressive barred owl.

Kirsten Mathisen

Barred owls are “aggressive owls and they’re very territorial,” stated Jonathan C. Slaght, a wildlife biologist. He reviewed a photograph taken by Mathisen and confirmed that the animal was a barred owl.

They historically nest in tree cavities. Sadly, these confrontations between owls and people are extra frequent now as a result of diminished availability of dense forests that enable owls to be extra remoted, he stated.

“The extra you slim down the place an owl can nest, the extra seemingly it’s to nest someplace near people,” Slaght stated. “In the event that they’re sort of amplified and a fox passes, a deer passes, a human passes, no matter, they will fall down and attempt to chase it.”

Mathisen utterly modified his strolling path to keep away from the place the owl lives. She additionally bought into the behavior of carrying a hat or an umbrella to guard herself from additional blows to the top, however she hopes she will not should ceaselessly.

“I do not need the owl to be put down or something like that. It is very lovely. It is only a fairly canine,” she stated.

Slaght had unhealthy information for her: “I feel she’s doomed,” he stated.

Kirsten Mathisen.

Kirsten Mathisen.

Kirsten Mathisen

The owl’s actions recommend it’s nesting or pre-breeding, he stated.

The excellent news is that it is seasonal, so the owl could finally transfer on or cease being so territorial.

“It isn’t ceaselessly. It is going to kind of work out,” he stated.

Within the meantime, he recommended Mathisen put on a hat, hold utilizing the umbrella, or simply admit defeat and discover one other place to stroll.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To study extra, go to https://www.npr.org.

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