- Owl apparently hit just blocks from the White House, found by police
- National Zoo and rehab group treat the rare bird for injuries
- The owl is expected to survive; will be watched before being released to the wild
A rare snowy owl was in stable, but guarded condition on Thursday after apparently being hit by a bus just blocks from the White House.
It had been seen around town a lot lately looking for food and had attracted a number of fans. A Twitter account was set up to monitor sightings.
The bird, believed to be female, was apparently hit on Wednesday night and found by police in the early morning hours on a downtown street with injuries.
It was taken to the Smithsonian National Zoo's hospital where it was alert and responsive, the zoo said in a statement.
There were no obvious signs of physical injury, but blood found in bird's mouth could indicate head trauma, the zoo said.
The owl received pain medication and fluids before being transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center. There, experts said she also suffered a broken toe.
X-rays were ordered up as was a period of evaluation before the owl would be released back into the wild, City Wildlife, an animal rehabilitation center, said in a statement on Twitter.
The owl's twitter account was inundated with well-wishes Thursday from many followers who had been documenting its whereabouts around the capital.