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Aggressive owl targets Metro Vancouver woman

A Coquitlam woman is warning people of an aggressive owl on Burnaby Mountain she says struck her — several times — hard enough to send her to the emergency room.
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 Kristina Harvey was hiking from her home in the Oakdale neighbourhood to her office at Simon Fraser University Thursday morning when she says she was attacked by an owl. Photo by Melissa HaftingKristina Harvey was hiking from her home in the Oakdale neighbourhood to her office at Simon Fraser University Thursday morning when she says she was attacked by an owl. Photo by Melissa Haftig

A Coquitlam woman is warning people of an aggressive owl on Burnaby Mountain she says struck her — several times — hard enough to send her to the emergency room.

Kristina Harvey was hiking from her home in the Oakdale neighbourhood to her office at Simon Fraser University Thursday morning when she says the attack occurred. The incident took place at around 7:45 a.m. at the end of a trail called Function Junction at the point where it connects with Uppercut on the way up Burnaby Mountain.

“The first time it felt like someone hit me with a log,” she said. “I looked around to see what the hell just happened. When I turned to look back down the trail, I saw it come at me a second time.”

After that, the owl perched in a tree ahead of her on the path and she was able to snap a picture. Despite being hurt, Harvey decided to press on and began shouting at the owl to stay away.

 Kristina Harvey said she managed to take a photo of an owl she said attacked her on a hike up Burnaby Mountain Thursday morning. Photo by Kristina HarveyKristina Harvey said she managed to take a photo of an owl she said attacked her on a hike up Burnaby Mountain Thursday morning. Photo by Kristina Harvey

“I yelled at the owl,” she said. “I said, 'I have a meeting today. Leave me alone, please.'”

But the bird was undeterred, swooping in a third time and knocking her again from behind, she said.

“It was such a hard impact,” she said, noting doctors have told her she may have a mild concussion. “I do really have a bad headache. The wounds are not deep. Apparently there’s no chance of rabies or anything from an owl.”

Harvey does not believe she did anything to antagonize the bird, noting that their nesting season is in the spring. She said she reached out to The Tri-City News to warn other people who hike the trail to be aware of the aggressive owl.