A dog has been left ‘screaming’ with a large wound after being attacked by an owl in Canada.
Carlee Case Quarrell of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, said her dog, Molly, a white bichon, was outside on Jan. 8 when the incident happened, SooToday.com reported.
“We heard my dog screaming in the garden, she was hurt. We opened the door and she had a huge gash in her leg,” Case Quarrell told local media.
“It was vertical up and down and we couldn’t figure out what happened to it, then later that day we spotted this owl on our fence.”
The woman’s neighbor Joe Gallo said he also spotted the bird – identifying it as a snowy owl – and managed to snap a photo of it.
Snowy owls are very large, nomadic owls native to the arctic regions of the world, although during the North American winter they are often seen as far south as southeastern Canada, the upper Great Lakes states and New England in the winter, according to Cornell. The university’s AllAboutBirds resource.
“It’s so beautiful,” Case Quarrell said of the snowy owl, a species characterized by its white feathers, with varying amounts of black or brown markings on the body and wings.
The woman said the owl may have mistaken Molly for prey before attacking the dog. The incident left her beloved pet with injuries that required veterinary treatment costing around CA$1,000 (about $800).
“We were like, ‘Okay, this owl thinks our dogs are rabbits or something because they’re smaller white bichons,'” Case Quarrell said. “You can tell he probably tried to pick it up because he slashed it vertically.”
The woman said she believed the snowy owl lived near their house and warned neighbors to be careful when leaving their pets outside.
“There’s open land behind us that’s filled with trees, so we think they’re living in there,” Case Quarrell said. “Now we are afraid to let our dog out and we have the whole street on high alert.”
The diet of snowy owls – North America’s largest owls by weight – consists primarily of small mammals, particularly lemmings, which may be the only food they have for most of their time. pass through the arctic tundra. These owls also sometimes eat small birds and are even agile enough to catch them on the fly.
On their breeding and wintering grounds, the snowy owl’s diet can vary widely and may include rodents, rabbits, hares, squirrels, weasels, waders, seabirds, ducks and geese, according to AllAboutBirds.