KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A runner from the Brookside neighborhood couldn’t believe what happened to him early Monday morning.
Ben Olson, who runs every morning, said an owl swooped out of a tree and attacked him, leaving three sizable puncture wounds on his head.
Olson is an avid runner who’s been training for the upcoming Kansas City Marathon. Olson said the owl flew past him once, before settling into the tree, but then, diving to attack with its claws. He said this happened near Brookside and Meyer Blvd.
“He flew over me and went into a tree, and I kept running. About 20-to-30 seconds later, I felt something on the back of my head. I thought a branch from a tree had fallen,” Olson said.
Olson said he didn’t need a doctor, but he’s still pretty scratched up. He said he’s going to be OK. In fact, he finished the eight miles of road work after cleaning the wounds.
“They weren’t too bad, but they didn’t look too good. There were three big bloody spots. You couldn’t tell how deep it was at that point until he got them cleaned off,” Haley Jarvis, Olson’s girlfriend, said.
In late 2017, FOX4 News told you about owls attacking runners in the same neighborhood. Wildlife experts say owls tend to avoid people, but owls will behave aggressively if they believe their young are at risk.
“I felt the claws on the back of my head. I don’t know how to describe it. It was like a bag of flour came down and hit me on top of the head,” Olson said.
Neither Kansas City Animal Control nor the Missouri Department of Conservation has any reports of others being hit by owls. Olson said he plans to wear a hat in the future — thinking perhaps the owl was attracted to the shine on his head.