A STOCKTON woman has been left “terrified” after a bird of prey attacked her while she was out jogging.
Lauren Case only recently took up the hobby but admits she will probably never run along the Napton Road again after the unexpected attack by a large bird – thought to be a buzzard.
The 23-year-old, who works at Southam Leisure Centre as a duty manager, needed a tetanus injection and medical attention following the incident.
Recalling the moment she was attacked, she said: “I had only just started to run along this route from Stockton, I had my headphones in and was nearing the bridge and almost home.
“I was concentrating when all of a sudden I felt something hitting my head. I looked up and I could see this bird flying away and what looked like talons.
“I didn’t know how to react at first as it was really out of the blue, but then I saw the bird circling round and coming back towards me so I just ran quicker back home.
“As soon as I got back I tried to feel where I had been hit and looked at my hand to see blood coming from my head. I was terrified and completely shocked.”
After originally thinking her bright blue hair may have been the cause of the attack, Lauren took to social media site Facebook to tell her story.
And she was stunned to find other runners and dog walkers had also come face-to-beak with birds on the same stretch of road just weeks before she was attacked.
She added: “I hope that others learn from what happened to me and try to avoid the area.”
Talia Prymaka, from JRCS Falconry, said: “At this time of year, they’re most likely protecting their young. They really see any predator as a threat and any movements towards people are simply to fend them off.
“Its best to avoid wooded areas or areas with trees if you know that birds of prey like buzzards are nesting. If they swoop down or fly towards you, the most sensible thing to do is to leave the area as quick as possible and duck out of the way.”