Angry Kamloops owl attacks, scratches skiers on popular trail system | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Angry Kamloops owl attacks, scratches skiers on popular trail system

The Stake Lake Trails, managed by the Overlander Ski Club, are just a 20-minute drive southwest of Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Overlander Ski Club

An angry owl dive-bombed and scratched up cross country skiers at a popular trail system in Kamloops last week, sending some to hospital with minor injuries.

The incident happened on Wednesday evening on Jan. 11 at Stake Lake Trails which are managed by the Overlander Ski Club.

“Five people using the trails went to the ER for tetanus shots and I think someone got stitches,” said general manager at the Overlander Ski Club Chelsea Francis. “They have a good attitude about the story and the nurses called them ‘the owl attack people’. It makes for a good campfire story.”

Francis has been in contact with biology and conservation experts about the owl’s behaviour and how to manage it.

She said it is a large, great horned owl.

“It is believed the owl is hunting in anticipation of nesting season and will likely move off in a week or two,” she said. “We are giving it space, monitoring it and updating the plan as we go along.”

READ MORE: Burrowing owls returning to Thompson Okanagan nests after migration to Mexico

Francis said the Jan.11 owl attacks happened in the space of an hour in separate attacks around Little Joe, Ponderosa, Cartwheel and Hoss trails. The trail system is open for day skiing while the owl is asleep, but Little Joe trail is currently closed at night.

“Of the ninety kilometres of trails here, the owl’s temporary residence is only affecting about five of them,” Francis said. “We close the main area where he is at night and inform the public with signs and letting them know when they drive through the ticket booth, and on social media.”

When asked if the ski club has come up with a name for the angry owl, Francis said she hopes he won’t stick around long enough to get one.

READ MORE: The gorgeous Thompson-Okanagan birds that survive the winters here

Stake Lake Trails is located 25 kilometres south of Kamloops and offers 60 kilometres of scenic groomed trails and 20 km of snow shoe trails, along with some dog-friendly trails and adventure trails. It is a family destination with trails for all ages and skill levels.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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