"Be aware": Angry owl attacks five skiers on BC trails

Jan 15 2023, 10:22 pm

A Kamloops ski club says it will need to to close four of its nighttime runs temporarily due to an aggressive owl on its green trails.

Chelsea Francis is the general manager at the Overlander Ski Club in Kamloops. She told Daily Hive that on Wednesday, January 11, a great horned owl started flying around the area.

The evening the owl appeared, it swooped down and scratched five people skiing alone. Several others were also startled by the bird, Francis said.

In response to the attacks, the club has decided to close four nighttime trails for the time being: Ponderosa, Hoss, Little Joe, and Sitting Bull.

These runs are part of Stake Lake ski trail network and are trails the owl is believed to be near, Francis explained.

The club has spoken to the BC Conservation Officer Service and is creating a solution.

“It’s a very unusual incident, so it’s kind of hard to set expectations for something that’s so uncommon,” Francis said. “The Conservation Officers and biologists are in agreement that it’s likely that as long as he’s given his space, he will move on soon.”

The owl was spotted Sunday morning again, but Francis said it did not bother anyone on the trail.

“He’s definitely still in the area. We’re hoping he moves on but if he doesn’t, we’ll just have to update our plans with the best information we can get.”

Anyone scratched by the owl is encouraged to receive a tetanus shot “to be safe,” the club said.

Several other ski trails are still available at the Overlander Ski Club, but folks are being encouraged to ski in groups.

“Owls are of course nocturnal and much less likely to be active during the daylight hours, but still be aware,” a warning on the club’s Facebook page reads.

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