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Posted by Boghound on February 10, 2013

Man needed hospital treatment after owl attack

A man was knocked to the ground and needed hospital treatment after he was attacked by an owl.

John Mackay, 58, was left bleeding from the back of his head in a built up area of Inverness near to the city centre. He thought he’d been hit by a brick.

He said the large bird of prey – around 2ft tall – knocked him to the ground and attacked the back of his head on Saturday evening.

The incident happened just outside the Masonic Club on Gordon Terrace in Inverness at around 9.15pm.

The 58-year-old went into shock after the owl, which he believes to be of the Eagle owl family, managed to slice the back of his head, causing heavy bleeding.

He said: "I thought I had been hit on the back of my head by a brick. I didn’t hear a thing, not even the flap of a wing. It was only when I stumbled back onto my feet and I saw the owl perched on top of a van out of the corner of my eye that I then knew what had happened."

Mr Mackay of Bogallan, North Kessock said he was shocked by the amount of blood that seeped from his wound. He said: "The staff at the Masonic Club were brilliant. They took me inside and were stemming the blood flow with towels while we waited for an ambulance. I couldn’t believe how much blood there was. People were asking for more towels and I thought to myself, this can’t be good."

He added: "I went into shock straight away and I think I was in shock for about a day. It’s not the kind of thing you expect to happen on a Saturday night."

Mr Mackay said he was in a group of people crossing the car park when they noticed the owl perched on top of a lamp post. He said: "I was crossing the car park, heading for the Masonic Club with a group of people when we noticed the owl. It was very large, around 2ft tall.

"The others went into the club ahead of me as I had to make a phone call and then that’s when it happened."

Mr Mackay says he has no idea why the bird attacked him. He said: "I really don’t know what happened. I’m not sure if it perhaps reacted to the glare in my mobile phone. I don’t know because I didn’t hear a sound. It didn’t squawk, I didn’t hear its wings.

"But it came down on the back of my head with some force because it knocked me straight to my knees. And then I saw all the blood.

"The doctors offered to stitch, staple or glue my cut on the back of my head, so I opted for the glue. I am okay now and that’s the main thing, it could have been a lot more serious if the bird had got my eye or the cut was deeper."

Tommy Horne, of Croy, who rescues birds of prey and has a stall in the city centre, searched for the owl on Saturday night after being informed of the attack by Mr Mackay.

Mr Horne said: "It’s very strange for any bird of prey to attack a human, I’ve never heard of it. Perhaps it’s injured or something like that, but I really don’t know. I was out looking for it on Saturday night, but so far there’s been no further sightings of the owl.


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