In Saint-Genest-Lerpt, in Loire, a town less than ten kilometers from Saint-Etienne, in Loire, two runners were attacked by hawks within a few weeks. He’s never seen one like him…
The day dawned slowly over the valleys of Saint-Genest-Lerpt. The morning promises to be moderate and sunny. The perfect weather for running on field tracks? Nothing less confident. Within about a month, two of the contestants were attacked by hawks.
Pints, bleeding skulls, frightened runners… We’re not in an Alfred Hitchcock movie but in the real world, at the gates of the Loire Gorges.
“I often run in area roads and it never happened to me”, attests Philip Vaucanson, a regular jogger. “This is the only case in the department (…) I have been practicing ornithology for 40 years, and I have never seen such behavior (…) The symbiosis is generally going well “Henri Colombe, an ornithologist and volunteer with the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) in Loire confirms.
Neither global warming nor deforestation appears to be in question. How do we explain these attacks? “We realized that during the pandemic, our compatriots went to discover the open spaces (…) Individual sports practices have developed in this sector “, suggests Christian Julien, mayor of the Diverse Left for the city of just over 6,000. Certain areas of Saint-Genest-Lerpt are designated protected nature sites.
Within weeks, two runners were assaulted. According to the mayor, one of the victims was particularly shocked. It must be said that this is an unusual encounter …
“I’m not going to talk about attack but about intimidation. These are birds in the breeding season and they have young in the nest, not very skilled (…). The breeding season runs from May to July. Parents are very vigilant and do not hesitate to intimidate (…) This is a way to temporarily mark their territory “Explains the world of birds.
“It may be a re-conquest of nature The mayor suggests the philosopher. ” Hawks may not feel threatened but in nature, humans call themselves among the animals, in their living space (…) It is a way of telling us that we are very close to them”replete with Henry Coulomb.
The ornithologist prefers to attribute to: “There were no serious injuries. There may be scratches on the scalp (…) The falcon is not a very large animal, weighing less than a kilogram. In the face of a human weighing 70-80 kilograms, the fight is very unequal.”.
“We are doing prevention so that coexistence can go as well as possible.”Mayor says. The idea isdiscover nature” for jogging.
Being more attentive to animals and plants is the solution advocated by nature advocates. “The advice that we can give to anyone who walks in nature is first of all to pay attention to what is happening around you (…) We are the ones entering the territory of the animals, and it is up to us to be attentive (…) If you see a hawk, do not panic, walk quietly”Henry Coulomb insists.
Hawk attacks don’t particularly frighten other racers. “That’s not what frightens me (…) Now that we know, I’m more careful, my head in the air “says Philip Vaughanson.
So we’re very far from Alfred Hitchcock’s script…
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