A snowy owl that had wandered out of its natural environment and into downtown Washington D.C. is recovering in a rehabilitation centre after being hit by a bus.
The rare bird was searching for food and perching at The Washington Post when it darted into traffic and was hit by a bus. Conservation officers and officials trailed the bird for two hours as they tried to captured it to get it into medical care.
District of Columbia police found the bird and took it to the National Zoo. The bird was later relocated to City Wildlife, a rehabilitation facility.
It’s been a big year for snowy owls. In this Critter Files post, we reported on their ventures down south in pursuit of food. Last week, one of them was hit by a plane at Philadelphia International Airport. It’s not that snowy owls are particularly clumsy and keep colliding into man-made structures. Experts believe the snowy owls are so out-of-their depths in cities that they get disoriented and not know where to look for food or resting spots. They gravitate towards metal objects like planes and buses because they lock on them like heat-seeking missiles.
The female snowy owl is believed to have broken bones in her collision with the bus. In an update this morning, City Wildlife reported:
The snowy owl is bright and alert this morning! Our prognosis remains guarded but it is acting more and more like a healthy owl every day. DNA results are expected this afternoon.
Photo credit: City Wildlife