We can very much understand if this incident stirs up more anti-Washington sentiment.
A snowy owl was, and this is hard to even think about, hit by a bus in the nation's capital on Thursday.
But after a day's worth of somewhat tempered updates about the raptor's condition, City Wildlife -- the rehabilitation center caring for the injured bird -- has released some amazing photos on Facebook, along with a cautiously optimistic message on the animal's prognosis.
Let's start with the photos, because they are just incredible.
Here is City Wildlife's clinic director Alicia DeMay holding the owl:
And here are two more shots of the owl on its own (that face!):
City Wildlife said over Twitter that the snowy owl "is in stable condition and continues to receive pain medication, antibiotics, fluids, and food."
Anne Lewis, president of the center, tells HuffPost that their staff is preparing to do x-rays, but hasn't taken them yet. Blood work has been sent out -- requests have been made that the tests be expedited -- which will tell, among other things, the bird's sex.
The owl had a broken talon and blood on its beak when it was brought in for care. The toe has been treated, and caretakers are now "most concerned about internal injury and rodenticide poisoning," says Lewis, a possibility since it has been seen eating rats in D.C.'s McPherson Square. (You might recall that this is the park where Occupy DC once made its encampment; rats were cited as a cause of concern at that time.)
For now, Lewis says, City Wildlife is keeping the owl hydrated, medicated, cool -- it's an Arctic bird, in most years not found this far south -- and "very quiet."
"Everyone is rooting" for recovery, she says, while "taking it one day at a time."
If we could tell this bird one thing, ourselves, it would be to get owl soon!
UPDATE, Feb. 1, 12:11 p.m.: Head over to the Washington Post for the story of how two D.C. police officers, Lauren Griffin and Othneil Blagrove, tracked the owl for two hours, after it was hit by a bus in the early hours of Thursday morning, and finally got the injured animal to safety.
And if you'd like to contribute to the owl's care, City Wildlife -- which is a nonprofit that runs on donations, and is D.C.'s only urban wildlife rehabilitation center -- has its fundraising page here.
UPDATE, Feb. 3, 1:30 p.m.: More promising news, plus another AMAZING photo of our feathered friend:
— City Wildlife (@DCCityWildlife) February 3, 2014
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