Local News

Unlikely, But Apex Man Says True: Owl Attack Caught on Tape

Posted January 25, 2008 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2008 7:01 p.m. EST

— Byron Unger's face is scratched and bruised – almost as if he were in a fight.

The Apex businessman says his attacker was an owl, not a person, however – and he has surveillance video to prove it.

"It's hard to believe. I understand that," Unger said. "Who's going to believe you've been whacked by a bird."

Chris Cox says he was a victim, too. The two men were walking in the parking lot outside Unger's office on U.S. Highway 64 on Jan. 10 when he was knocked in the back of his head.

"I had no idea what hit me," Cox said. "(It) felt like somebody hit me with a baseball bat."

Since then, the men say there have been two more attacks – Unger's being earlier this week. Both victims say the owl is swift, silent and strong and attacks without warning.

"His kids and wife were here that night," Cox said. "I would hate to see what would happen if the bird decided to go after one of the kids, rather than one of us."

Wildlife experts can only speculate the owl is waiting in the shadows of the trees, protecting its territory.

"At this point in time, there's not a whole lot we can do about it," Cox said. "It's federally protected."

In the meantime, they've changed their habits wait for the experts to trap it and move it to a new location.

"My girlfriend said she's gonna make me wear a bicycle helmet to the office from now on," Cox said.