DC’s Snowy Owl Hit by a Bus Last Night, Being Treated by National Zoo

by Prince Of Petworth January 30, 2014 at 11:21 am 23 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

From the National Zoo:

“The snowy owl that has been spotted recently in the Washington D.C. area was brought to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for care early this morning after reportedly being hit by a bus in the 15th and I St. area of the District. The owl was found by the Metropolitan Police who reported the injury to the National Zoological Police. The owl was transferred by the DC Police to the Zoo and cared for by Dr. Jessica Siegal-Willott at the Zoo’s hospital.

Upon arrival, the snowy owl was alert and responsive but subdued. There were no obvious physical injuries but there was blood on the bird. Upon further examination, blood was found in the mouth which is consistent with suspected head trauma. The owl was provided supportive care which included pain medication, Meloxicam, and non-steroid inflammatory drug akin to aspirin and provided fluids sub-cutaneously. Our team made sure the bird was comfortable and in a quiet atmosphere while waiting for it to be picked up by City Wildlife for rehabilitation. Per standard and established protocol, wild animals such as this snowy owl, are provided care and released back into the wild by a state or in this case a city-affiliated animal organization. City Wildlife Biologist Abby Hehmeyer says they will give the owl x-rays in order to determine any missed injuries, but their goal is to release her as soon as possible.

Our team of veterinarians believes the owl is female. This was determined by the size and color, since females tend to be a little larger and darker than male snowy owls.”

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been told that the unusual sightings of snowy owls in this area are a result of both climate change and the massive numbers of rats, mice and squirrels that live here. It’s like an all you can eat buffet for these guys.

    • TG

      Yep. There was a big hawk living in Columbia Heights for a while. Could to see the rats with some natural predators out there.

    • Anonymous

      But mostly it’s due to a bumper crop of baby owls in the past year or two, when their population increases the juveniles move further south.

      • Jack

        The bumper crop of baby owls is directly related to climate change. Warmer temps mean more lemmings, more food supply for predators, more breeding and ultimately more crowding and competition for food

        • Anonymous

          Yes and no. I’m if anything a climate change alarmist, but normal fluctuations in population sizes happen even without climate change. Lemmings have a 6-10 year population cycle. I’m not saying that climate change doesn’t contribute to this irruption (or to bigger swings in lemming abundance), but it’s complex and not as straight-forward as simply climate change –> owls moving south.

        • On FOX tonight: “Do you believe in climate change? Then you must hate baby owls!”

  • Anon no.5

    This is why we can’t have nice things!

    • dcreal

      ha! funniest shyt posted all week.

    • mvexplorer

      +1 haha best response ever

  • And those inconsiderate people living on 16th St want MORE owl-smashing buses! The humanity!

  • Anonymous

    this story made me sad.

    • wdc

      But it also makes me happy, because we have world-class bird vets right here in town. The idea of a DC cop finding an injured owl and calling the zoo police, driving the bird over here, handing it off to the pros, whisking it away for medical treatment including pain management… that’s pretty cool.

      • alpinepaq

        Yes, but it makes the recent fire-department heart attack debacle seem all the more appalling in comparison.

  • Andrew

    When asked if he spotted the identification number of the driver of the bus that hit him, the Snowy Owl replied, “Who?”

    • Corny but still chuckle-worthy :)

      • a sad story, but this did make me smile

        Hope the owl quickly recovers and is back in flight soon. We need it out here eating mice and rats!

  • rejamaphone

    This owl is pretty badass considering he/she got hit by a bus. Reminds me of another badass owl I know. Archimedes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYHFkAsWBOg

    • Loved that movie! The only Disney VHS I ever actually owned.

      • Anonymous

        You need to get the Blu-Ray. It would look a lot better than VHS on that 64″ top of the line plasma :-)

        • I don’t have the VHS anymore unfortunately, long lost in a series of moves.

  • brightwoodian

    As someone on Twitter said “WMATA ruins everything.”

  • Anonymous

    I wonder who couldadunit?

  • Anonymous

    Clearly targeted, also probably had it’s iPhone taken


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