At least 10 people have been treated by a local optometrist in the last month after being attacked by a menacing bird at Kiama Village shopping centre.
Patients described their experience to optometrist Susan Ang-Ngo from Eyestore Kiama.
“They were in the car park, either entering or leaving the automatic sliding doors when the bird had swooped straight for their eyes,” she said.
Mrs Ang-Ngo said her patients had suffered corneal lacerations and bruising to the eye.
“Until we identify the plan to deal with swooping birds, it is important to wear protective eyewear, such as sunglasses or optical when outdoors of Kiama Village,” Mrs Ang-Ngo suggested.
Last month Kiama Village shopping centre installed two imitation owls on the roof in an attempt to deter the bird, believed to be a native pee wee.
Council had received a number of reports in weeks leading up to the installation of people being harassed by a bird at the western end of Terralong Street, including the car park at Kiama Village.
“Kiama Council has received a permit from National Parks and Wildlife to cull the bird which has been attacking and injuring shoppers and pedestrians at Kiama Village shopping centre and the western end of Terralong Street,” Kiama Council acting director of environmental services Paul Czulowski said.
“Council is working with the appropriate experts to deal with the problem.
“Council has engaged a pest management consultant to carry out the work,” Mr Czulowski said.
“Council is working with management of the shopping centre and NSW Police to ensure the operation is carried out in a safe and controlled manner, without risk to the public.”
Local resident Lincoln Piper took to Facebook to warn others about the bird after he was attacked.
“I got swooped twice including being pecked in the eye,’ he said.
“Another gentleman next to me was swooped and scratched on the head.
“I also heard another woman has undergone surgery for her eye after being attacked by them.”