An owl is pestering joggers in an Oregon park. In his latest appearance (the fourth), he snatched a man's favorite hat. Clearly this owl just hates the smug yuppie culture around physical fitness.
That's according to the Statesman-Journal (h/t AP). Brad Hilliard was running along, minding his own business, when "I turned around and my favorite running hat was gone," he said. "I was just dumbfounded after the fact. I was like, 'My hat is gone and I can't see anything.'" He sounded surprisingly blasé about his close encounter, which sounds frankly terrifying even though he came away with a mere scratch and a stolen hat:
"It didn't get deep into me," he said. "It was almost like you touched the tip of the knife but you pulled away before it does any real damage."
But he's not the first! In the last month this anti-social owl has swooped upon three other runners, one of whom thought he was having a stroke, according to the Statesman-Journal: "It was like a huge electric shock ran through my body, but also like I got hit in the head with a two-by-four all at the same time." Scary, but his friend, a local biology professor, offered a different perspective: "As scary as it was for Ron, it's a wonderful thing Salem can offer such a great habitat," said David Craig, adding that, "I wish it would have happened to me." I'm sure your pal agrees, David.
According to the Parks Operations Division's Keith Keever, it's a barred owl, a species not native to the area—and one that has as a bit of a history with early-morning runners. It's likely riled due to mating season or a nearby nest. So anybody jogging in Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon might want to keep their eyes peeled and be prepared to duck.
Image via AP.