A Wildlife Wednesday Story
By Lauren Green, WHS Communications and Digital Media Specialist
The sound of a phone ringing in the WHS Animal Care and Control dispatch room is the cry of animal in DC who needs help. On August 7, 2013, an Animal Care and Control dispatcher listened attentively as a caller reported that an osprey, or sea eagle, was stuck in the grating of the Frederick Douglass Bridge in Southwest DC.
WHS Animal Care and Control officers flew to the scene, only to be met with startling new details - the bird was able to get free from the grating but promptly flew into the path of a truck and was hit.
As grace would have it, the osprey was assessed and found to have no obvious trauma or bleeding. He appeared to be merely dazed from the impact and was swiftly transported to City Wildlife for follow up treatment.
The next day, the phone rang out in the dispatch room; another osprey was spotted stuck in the bridge grating. WHS officers once again rushed to the scene. Squawks of several young ospreys could be heard below the bridge, but the officers needed a birds-eye view.
It was time for back up. One phone call later, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Harbor Patrol Unit was in the water and roaring to the scene with WHS officers on board. With the watery new scope, WHS officers could now spot four young ospreys and three adult ospreys flying below the bridge, all of whom appeared healthy and none were stuck or in any danger.
After breathing a sigh of relief that the osprey family was safe, another phone rang out, this time from the pocket of one of the WHS officers. It was City Wildlife. The osprey taken in the day before was healthy and ready to be reunited with his family.
On the final lap of their journey, City Wildlife boarded the MPD Harbor Patrol Unit with WHS Animal Control Officers to deliver their healthy winged friend back to his flock. At approximately 2 p.m. on August 8, 2013, the osprey rejoined his brood under the bridge.
WHS would like to express their sincere thanks to both MPD and City Wildlife for their enduring support of the organization’s commitment to protecting and serving the animals of the District.
“Thank you for your unwavering support of our efforts to help animals,” tweeted Scott Giacoppo, WHS VP of External Affairs. “It's truly a great partnership.”
If you see DC wildlife in distress, don’t hesitate. Call WHS DC Animal Care and Control right away for expert advice and assistance – 202-576-6664.
Learn more about coexisting with DC’s wildlife neighbors at www.washhumane.org/wildlife.
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