Owl swoops at woman walking small dog in Kelowna

Owl swoops at woman, dog

A Kelowna woman out for a walk with her dog says she was attacked by an owl.

"It was kind of shocking. It came at me twice," said Leslie Ferguson

She was walking her small Yorkie, Nala, which is about eight pounds.

Ferguson says she was cleaning up after her dog when she heard a hoot, "and then I kind of just stopped. I kind of felt a little uneasy."

Ferguson says she was on Abbott Street near Burne Avenue around 8 p.m. Thursday evening.

"It came at us. I could have probably jumped up and grabbed it."

Ferguson managed to avoid the owl, but she said it had an enormous wingspan, "It came at my head. I'd say it was close to a four-foot wingspan."

Ferguson says she kept her eye on the owl as it landed and then perched on a fence, "and then it came at us again. So I picked her (Nala) up and I just put her right up to my chest. But I was thinking 'Oh my gosh, what if it comes at me again.'"

Ferguson says the experience was nerve-wracking and she wants other small pet owners to be aware that this kind of thing is possible.

"Hopefully people with small pets keep alert that this can happen when out walking in the dark, especially now that it is dark by 8 p.m."

Ferguson says she's not sure what kind of an owl it was, "based on the wing span, I assume it was a great horned owl and the underside of the wings looked brownish."

Ferguson moved to Kelowna a few years back from Vancouver Island and she says she has never had an experience like this before.

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