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A town is living in fear of a randy owl.
The horrid hooter has savaged children, old folk, dog-walkers and their pets – leaving locals scared to leave their homes.
Experts suspect the Canadian great-horned owl is frustrated because it is breeding season and struggling to find love.
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They have warned residents of Sedgley, West Midlands, to body-swerve the bolshy bird of prey which is 2ft tall, boasts a 5ft wingspan and has drawn blood in a series of psychotic swoops.
It was first spotted five months ago but has become more vicious.
Liz Hodgkins, 74, was left with deep cuts to her scalp after being savaged by its razor-sharp talons on her driveway. A 13-year-old boy has also been attacked.
While small dogs have been targeted in their owner's back gardens.
The bird – thought to be an escaped pet – has stepped up its attacks in recent weeks.
It normally feasts on small mammals such as rabbits, ducks, mice and voles – but grandmother-of-five Liz said it took a shine to her as she was shutting her front gates.
The retired lab technician said: "The owl was in the tree and I waved to it and said `hello'.As I was walking back I felt this big hit on the back of the head.
"I had my grandkids staying and they were worried about me when they saw all the blood.I asked my neighbour and he said he'd been attacked while taking the dog out. They see it on their fence.
"It looks a nasty thing really. One neighbour is soft on it and doesn't want anything happening to it. Although it's not a native bird.
"I think it's someone pet who had it illegally. To trap it you need a license. No one wants to catch this vicious owl.There's not really a plan for it.
"He's been in the woods since October. He didn't come out much but now he seems to be coming out all the time.''
Mum-of-two Rachel Teague, 36, said: "It's become a bit of a psycho. People are actually pretty terrified of it.
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"It's crazy there's a Canadian owl causing havoc in the Black Country. We only usually get to see birds like this at Dudley Zoo. We do hope somebody is able to catch it safely because it has become very aggressive.
"I do worry about my two little ones. We don't want to villainise the poor thing. It is just displaying its natural behaviour. But it needs to be caught and nobody is doing anything about it.''
Other locals who had been attacked messaged social media community pages saying they suffered puncture wounds which left `blood everywhere'.
One mum wrote on Facebook: "My son who is 13 got attacked by a bird of prey yesterday. He's thinking it could of (sic) been a large owl. It was near the allotments. Thought I'd make people aware.''
Another added: "My friends have been attacked by it and are now scared to leave their house. They have little dogs and it went for one so be careful with your dogs.''
Brockswood Animal Sanctuary, in nearby Dudley, reported sightings back in September.
Staff wrote on Facebook: "Please share. Has anybody or do any of you know of anybody in the local area (or possibly slightly further afield) who has lost an owl?
"We have had reports of a spotted eagle owl in Dudley/Sedgley area.These are not native species and obviously an escaped pet.
"We have trawled the various lost animal pages but can find no reference to this bird so far and keen to help find its home.''
One woman replied: "Unfortunately the owl attacked Jay and our neighbour and we are struggling with our dogs in our back garden.
"I do think it's escaped. There are now two neighbours in Turls Hill Road who have been physically attacked by this owl, one with scratches on her scalp.
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"Please be aware as people are also worried about their dogs. Someone has a contact at a falconry so are now talking to them about it.As much as it's good to know the owl has survived the winter this is worrying.''
Another added: "You can protect it by all means, nobody wants to harm it, but you need to understand the severity of the problem here.
"We have a child that has puncture wounds and the mother has said there was blood everywhere.Also the other two people that were attacked, one was almost knocked to the floor as it is so powerful.
"We all want to protect it just the same as you do and being caught is the safest option for the owl and local people.''
Expert Barbara Royle, owner of the International Bird Registry, believes the owl is becoming territorial due to the breeding season and advised the public to avoid it at all costs. "From its behaviour we suspect it is now looking for a mate,'' she said.
"It is protecting its territory because of its breeding condition.With all of the publicity I'm surprised someone hasn't come forward and I would suspect it has been let go on purpose.''
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