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The snowy owl, seen here last January, captured residents’ attention after it perched at the headquarters of The Washington Post.

ASSOCIATED PRESS file photo,

Snowy owl that captured DC's imagination dies in Minnesota

  • Article by: KIM McGUIRE
  • Star Tribune
  • August 23, 2014 - 6:50 PM

A snowy owl that captured the hearts of Washington, D.C., residents when she established a temporary home downtown, has died in northern Minnesota.

The owl, which was rehabilitated at the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center after being hit by a bus in Washington, was most likely fatally struck by another vehicle not far from where it was released, center officials said.

“It is always difficult when we receive news such as this,” the center said in a statement. “Urban landscape challenges such as buses, methane burners and roadways can prove hazardous to all types of wildlife, owls included.”

The owl first garnered the public’s attention after he perched outside the Washington Post’s offices in January.

After it was later struck by a bus, it was sent in March to the Raptor Center in St. Paul which helps rehabilitate more than 700 sick or injured wild birds each year.

While at the center, the owl underwent a feather transplant, a procedure meant to help it thrive again in the wild.

Center staff released the owl in mid-April after it had made a full recovery.

Recently, the center was notified that the owl’s body had been found on the shoulder of a Minnesota roadway. The owl, a female, had been banded.

The bird’s body was “found in good condition, indicating the owl was successfully hunting,” the center said on its website.

Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469

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