‘Aggressive’ owl kept attacking park visitors, so Canadian campground shut down

A belligerent owl at a park has been ruffling feathers in Canada.

The raptor terrorized multiple park visitors, forcing the park to shut down for over a week, officials said.

“An owl in Killarney Provincial Park is currently acting aggressively and has attacked several visitors,” the Ontario park said on March 16. “This heightened aggression is likely related to the owl defending its territory and nest.”

The great-horned owl attacked six park visitors over the course of recent weeks, according to CBC. Four of them were sent to the hospital for medical care.

One man sustained wounds on his scalp during a late night surprise attack, according to the Sudbury Star.

“Happened just before midnight,” he wrote in a Facebook post, according to the Star. “They are silent killers, no sound at all. Just a thump in the head like being hit by a sledgehammer.”

As a result, the park, which borders Lake Huron, temporarily shut down on March 16, officials said. Ski trails, campsites and cabins would not be open for use until March 23 or later.

The park reopened on March 24, park officials stated in an online alert, adding that the owl appeared to have departed the campground area.

A spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.

Dive-bombing is the “most aggressive behavior” displayed by owls, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

This time of year is the typical nesting season for the owls. To avoid potential conflicts, it is important to avoid nesting areas of hostile birds in the weeks after their young have hatched, the department states.

“If you must walk past a nest, wave your arms slowly overhead to keep the birds at a distance and wear a hat (or helmet) or carry an umbrella,” the department states.

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