Jogger's Scalp Punctured by Owl

Ron Jaecks thought it was a mugger, or an aneurysm
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2015 2:02 PM CST
Jogger Attacked by Owl
In this Jan. 21, 2014 photo, a great horned owl is seen at the Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur Ill.   (AP Photo/Herald & Review, Jim Bowling)

Ron Jaecks thought he was being attacked by a person, or possibly that he was having a stroke or an aneurysm. But the truth turned out to be much stranger. The Oregon man was jogging in a local park around 5:15am Tuesday when his stocking cap was pulled off his head and he felt his scalp being punctured. "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," the 58-year-old tells the Statesman Journal. "Or maybe a strike of lightning."

As he ran away, it happened again, and this time he spotted a big winged animal above him. He believed it was a bat, but a biologist friend told him it was likely either a barred owl or a great horned owl. Great horned owls can have wingspans as large as 5 feet and talons as long as 8 inches, and they can hit their prey with almost 30 pounds of force—and they start nesting in January, and are known to attack anything they see as a threat to their family. "When owls are nesting, they're really territorial," says the biologist. (More strange stuff stories.)

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