NEWS: United Kingdom
A giant owl nearly a metre long tries to devour a British runner.

Data sci­en­tist Hat­tie Atkin­son Smith was run­ning along the riv­er near Nor­wich City’s Car­row Road soc­cer sta­di­um at 6:10 a.m. when she thought she felt a “hand” on the back of her head.

The 27-year-old did not know what she would face when she turned around.

As she turned around, Atkin­son Smith came face-to-face with a “mas­sive bird,” Mail Online reported.

The run­ner recalled, “My head was down, and I had my head­phones on, and I was­n’t tak­ing much in around me. Then I felt some­thing on my head, and it felt like a hand was com­ing down on my head.

“I looked up and there was just this mas­sive bird that had obvi­ous­ly descend­ed. I think it thought I was an ani­mal and tried to eat me — it was so weird! It was so big — that was what was scary — and I ‘ve nev­er seen a bird that big in the wild, not in a zoo!

“I ran because I was obvi­ous­ly a lit­tle afraid that it would try again. […] My hair was tied back in a pony­tail, which is why I think he might have thought I was a rodent or something.”

“I was sure it was a bird of prey because it was so big, and it had the hooked beak and every­thing. Its feath­ers were two dif­fer­ent shades of brown, and then it had these feath­ers above the eyes that were stick­ing out.”

Atkin­son Smith not­ed how “huge” the bird’s wingspan was. “I would say the wingspan was as big as me — it was real­ly big. I’m 5’5”,” she explained.

The run­ner dis­cov­ered that the bird was a Eurasian screech owl with a wingspan of almost 6 feet.

How­ev­er, after see­ing that the barn owl “was not native to the UK,” Atkin­son Smith “googled the Nor­wich barn owl, and he pub­lished all these arti­cles about it.”

From her research, the jog­ger dis­cov­ered that the bird had been roam­ing Nor­wich for some time and had been spot­ted reg­u­lar­ly by sev­er­al res­i­dents, how­ev­er, she did not con­tact its own­ers about the attack.

The owl, report­ed­ly named Alfie, sub­se­quent­ly con­tin­ues to fly freely around the city.

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