Elderly, one-eyed owl rescued in Va.

A handler holds an elderly owl with poor vision that was rescued from the Mt. Vernon area Friday and taken to a raptor rehabilitation center in Falls Church. (Courtesy Fairfax County Police Department)

Amanda Iacone, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Drivers, pedestrians and a flock of emergency personnel helped rescue an elderly owl that had been spotted careening into signs and buildings in the Mt. Vernon area.

Fairfax County animal control officers finally netted the bird Friday morning after four days of trying to rescue the distressed owl.

Animal control had received multiple reports of the owl flying “wildly” into signs, buildings and even cars in the area of Richmond Highway and Sacramento Drive last week. Finally Friday morning, the owl was spotted perched on a wire about 20 feet off the ground.

Officers threw towels at the bird to dislodge him. Officers netted the bird after he flew onto a parking lot. Police officers, the fire department and passers-by helped with the hour-long rescue.

Animal control officials say the “senior” owl was very ill and malnourished. He was missing an eye and the other eye was covered in cataracts, preventing him from being able to hunt.

The owl was taken to a raptor rehabilitation center in Falls Church, where he remained in stable condition Monday, according to a Fairfax County Police Department news release.

Officials expect the owl to survive. However he is expected to remain in captivity because he cannot continue to hunt for his food.

Owls are birds of prey and typically hunt at night.

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