Neighbors: Owl attacks 6 people, terrorizes others

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- It is majestic, but it's terrifying. Neighbors in Jacksonville Beach say something is terrorizing the neighborhood from the sky and even attacking people. First Coast News reporter, David Williams, and photographer, Jimmy Marlow, saw the owl first hand.

Jack Weyer, of Jacksonville Beach, said the owl attacked him recently.

"Out of the blue, it just came right down on the back of my head," He said. 'I just felt like, two talons right on the back of my head, grab and kid of pull away."

Eight- year-old, Sophia Forte, said she had an owl ordeal of her own 2 weeks ago.

"It flew down and hit my inside my eye and inside my hair and on my forehead," She said, as she described what she says happened to her.

Her father told us he wound up in the emergency room, but she is OK now. So far neighbors told First Coast News the bird has hurt 5 kids plus Weyer. The bird of prey has people on their toes and it has them freaked out.

"They're nervous," Frank Forte said. He told FCN his daughter was attacked. "They're going outside...the kids are going out with helmets on. Umbrellas. Even when I go take the garbage out at night. I got a cardboard box over my head."

Forte said the owls has terrorized their Jacksonville Beach neighborhood for at least two weeks.

"I talked to Beaks on Friday," Frank Forte said. "They said it was probably somebody's pet and it was hand-fed. So, it's really not attacking. It's just looking for somebody to feed it."

Weyer said "I'm just afraid for the kids."

Neither Weyer nor his neighbors want anyone else, or the owl, to get hurt.

"Maybe just taken to a better spot, so it's not dangerous for the kids to be attacked," Weyer suggested.

Neighbors told FCN that Florida Fish and Wildlife and Beaks told them they would try to get someone out the area to catch the bird.

Karen Parker, a spokesperson for Florida Fish and Wildlife told First Coast News that FWC is aware of the owl. The agency has gotten several reports of the owl.

Parker said FWC is trying to contact someone within a falconry group to go out and try to catch the bird. Parker said it may sound silly, but the best things people can do until the situation is solved, is to wear a hard hat or carry an umbrella and pop the umbrella up so the bird does not see you.

FCN is awaiting comment from Beaks about the owl.


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