When 17-year-old Connor Bowe went out for a jog last Tuesday, he probably imagined the worst that could happen to him was tripping over a loose paving slab or getting a stitch.
We doubt he was unduly concerned by thoughts of potential attacks from OWLS.
So the fitness-fan was shocked to the core when he was jumped from behind during his evening run and knocked to the ground by what turned out to be an eagle owl!
And the feathered fiend did not give up his assault, swooping on Connor for a second time from a nearby tree.
Fearing for his safety, Connor ran for his life - but the berserk bird followed in hot pursuit, chasing him through Cleadon Hills, South Shields.
Eventually, the flying thug was scared off by a group of orienteerers, who shone torches at him until he retreated.
Connor is now recovering from WHIPLASH after the attack.
"It was like a scene from a film. I couldn't believe it," the shocked student told his local paper, "I had been jogging on the hills and was going to my step-mum's on Quarry Lane.
"Then all of a sudden, I felt something hit the back of my head and I was knocked over.
"I had a hood up so I couldn't see what happened. I was worried someone was attacking me, but there was no one around.
"Then I saw this huge bird, which must have been about two feet long with a huge wingspan.
"It came back for me, and I started to run. It was terrifying, I just wanted to get away, but it followed me. There was no way it was going to leave me alone.
"Thankfully, I bumped into the group who helped me, and I eventually made it back to my step-mum's."
Connor says he is now concerned about running in the hills at night.
"I've been back during the day, but there's no way I'm going up there in the dark until that thing is caught," he said.
"It was so scary. I'm quite tall and it knocked me off my feet. What would happen if it was a child. It's just not safe out there."
Connor contacted our contributing editor Kelly on Twitter to say he was on the mend after his attack, tweeting: "I'm still achey but I know I've had people reduced to tears of laughing. I love your article haha, best one yet ."
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said they had received 'several reports' about an eagle owl in the area and that they had employed a specialist to try and catch the bird.
"The council has no legal responsibility to return this bird to captivity, however, in the interests of public health and safety, we have been making every effort to capture it," she said.
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