Washington’s Favorite Snowy Owl Hit by Bus

The bird was transported to the National Zoo for treatment.

Not the injured owl.
National Journal
Marina Koren
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Marina Koren
Jan. 30, 2014, 6:59 a.m.

A snowy owl who re­cently took up res­id­ence in the Wash­ing­ton area was ap­par­ently struck by a bus Thursday morn­ing and brought to the Smith­so­ni­an’s Na­tion­al Zoo for treat­ment.

The bus hit the bird near 15th and I streets NW, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the zoo. Met­ro­pol­it­an Po­lice found the in­jured bird and aler­ted the Na­tion­al Zo­olo­gic­al Po­lice, a fed­er­al en­force­ment agency for the Smith­so­ni­an.

The snowy owl, be­lieved to be fe­male, was “alert and re­spons­ive but sub­dued” when Metro po­lice of­ficers brought it to the Na­tion­al Zoo, where it’s be­ing treated by staff veter­in­ari­ans. The bird did not sus­tain any “ob­vi­ous” phys­ic­al in­jur­ies, but blood present in its mouth sug­ges­ted head trauma. The owl was giv­en pain med­ic­a­tion and flu­ids through an IV, and will un­der­go X-rays.

The snowy owl was treated by Na­tion­al Zoo veter­in­ari­ans Thursday morn­ing after it was re­portedly struck by a bus in down­town Wash­ing­ton. (Smith­so­ni­an’s Na­tion­al Zoo/Flickr)

The zoo’s med­ic­al team “made sure the bird was com­fort­able and in a quiet at­mo­sphere.” City Wild­life, a D.C. wild-an­im­al res­cue and re­hab­il­it­a­tion cen­ter, tweeted Thursday af­ter­noon that the owl had been placed in its care. The snowy owl will re­cov­er at the fa­cil­ity, and will then be re­leased in­to the wild.

The snowy owl has been spot­ted perched atop vari­ous build­ings in down­town D.C. in re­cent weeks, de­light­ing ped­es­tri­ans who sud­denly be­come un­fazed by freez­ing tem­per­at­ures and stopped to take the bird’s pic­ture. Earli­er this week, it was spot­ted at The Wash­ing­ton Post‘s headquar­ters.

Snowy-owl sight­ings have been on the rise in vari­ous cit­ies — which can be deadly en­vir­on­ments for the fluffy birds — along the East Coast. Get bet­ter soon, D.C. owl.

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