Authorities have swooped in on a giant owl that had terrorized a Dutch town for almost a year.
A rogue owl that attacked residents of a northern Dutch city for the past year, forcing them to carry umbrellas, has finally been caught, confirmed concerned officials. Dubbed the “terror owl” by residents of Purmerend, north of Amsterdam, the aggressive European eagle owl is suspected of more than 50 attacks on humans. The owl is said to have swooped down silently from above, attacking its unsuspecting victims and leaving them bloodied and bruised.
Confirming the apprehension of the owl, Purmerend city council said, “The animal was trapped by a falconer today. It’s in good health and is currently being kept in a temporary facility awaiting a transfer once a proper permanent home has been found.”
A falconer is a person who is skilled in the art of humanely trapping large birds of prey, which can include falcons, eagles, and in this case, a large male European eagle owl with razor-sharp talons and a vicious temperament.
The owl had become not only a menace, but a downright threat to citizens and tourists. For unknown reasons, the owl is suspected of a spate of mysterious attacks on citizens over the last year, prompting the city to advise evening strollers to arm themselves with umbrellas for protection against its silent but deadly aerial assaults.
Two members of a local athletics clubs were attacked last month, with one runner requiring stitches for six different head wounds caused by the nocturnal bird of prey’s talons.
“These assaults would leave its victims with deep gashes on the head and shoulders. The attacks would be brief and sudden with no provocation from the people. The attacks were getting heavier. Many people were afraid to go out of their homes.”
However, since the owl is a protected animal, the city had to lobby hard to secure special permission to trap the creature. Once it was granted, the city wasted no time in appointing a falconer to nab the owl.
No one is quite sure why the owl attacked humans. Some theories suggest the owl associated humans with food and attempted to “hunt them,” whereas others speculate the owl was “high on hormones” that peak during mating season and owing to the absence of a suitable mate, the owl had gone crazy.
The townsfolk are surprisingly divided on the capture of the owl. While many are relieved that the attacks would now cease, others feel the owl should have been left alone.
[Image Credit | Living Coram Deo]