An owl attacks a child in The Bay

Un hibou attaque un enfant à La Baie

A boy of 9 years has had the scare of his life, on Sunday, when an owl has attacked at the head while he was playing simply with friends behind a residence located in full heart of an area of The Bay.

Two days before Christmas, Jérémie Legault was playing with his friends Dimitri and Jordan Tremblay when the bird of prey suddenly appeared to him grabbing the skull with its talons, causing him several injuries, including a deep cut that required three stitches.

“It happened really fast. It was a jump. When it was noticed that it was bleeding, the father [of my friends] came to take me home and he told me that I would go maybe to the hospital. It really hurt, ” says the young boy, met with him by The Daily on Monday morning.

Still reeling in the aftermath of his extraordinary experience, Jeremiah was told that he had then traveled to the hospital of The Bay to disinfect and treat properly his wound.

Un hibou attaque un enfant à La Baie

The boy is 9 years old and needed three stitches after being attacked.

THE DAILY, MARIANE L. ST-GELAIS

“A Christmas like that, it’s a little weird “, confesses then the boy.

“I’ve had the misery to go to bed. I was worried and I shakais the same, ” says Jeremiah, miming the movement. I made the bad dreams of the matter that has happened to me, but I was with other [people]. When I managed to fall asleep, it was one o’clock in the morning, ” adds Jeremiah.

Un hibou attaque un enfant à La Baie

An agent of the department of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks visited the site.

THE DAILY, MARIANE L. ST-GELAIS

More fear than harm

The parents of Jeremiah have been knocked unconscious on the spot, but also agree that there has been more fear than harm in this story.

“It was a little bit of everything, a little panicked and he was crying at the same time. We could see that he was stirring. When I went to pick up my head lamp to clean it, I saw that it had not just two or three small grafignes. There was really a at the back of the head that was deep enough, and it was bleeding. He said : ‘there was a bird who attacked me. He left with my hat.” He was panicking really, ” says the father of Jeremiah, Luc Legault.

Other incidents reported

In talking with their neighbors in the aftermath of the incident, Mr. Legault and his wife have found that a bird – which could be the same owl – sowed the disorder on several occasions during the last week.

Several neighbors have reported seeing a large bird in the area of streets, J.-T. Tardif and du Rond-Point, to The Bay, and it would be too dark in the window of at least one house in the same residential area.

“What we were told, is that the owl, often, it has a hunting territory. If you walk in a path that happens to be on his territory, he will just try to intimidate and will not attack. Wildlife officers came here because this is the first time really [an owl] attack someone, ” says Luc Legault.

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ASSAULTS ARE EXTREMELY RARE

The attacks of owls like the one suffered by the young Jeremiah Legault would be extremely rare, both in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and elsewhere in Quebec, says the ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks (MFFP).

“I have not seen it often. It is still quite marginal situation,” says the agent to the communications of the MFFP Frederick Sheehy, who considers that they have heard similar stories once or twice in his career. The latter has noted, Monday, that a member of his team was still in search of the bird in question, as well as clues that could explain his behavior as erratic and aggressive.

“We had an alert against an attack from the owl, but it has not been seen on the premises. The agents moved on the spot to meet the young man and continue their investigation,” added Mr Sheehy.

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