Violet Captured for Treatment in Washington Square Park

Violet, the red-tailed hawk who has been suffering from a crippling leg injury, was captured for treatment on Saturday in Washington Square Park.

According to the blogger Roger_Paw, who witnessed the rescue, the Long Island-based raptor rehabilitators Robert and Cathy Horvath of the nonprofit Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation, netted her on the ground after she had flown down from a tree branch to retrieve her prey.

The Horvaths will take Violet, the mother of Pip, to a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for her necrotic right leg, which for more than a year has been swollen around metal wildlife band and which may require amputation. Her good leg — the left one — appears to have been infected with what is known as bumblefoot, a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics.

The capture brings one aspect of the hawk drama full circle: the Horvaths had offered to rescue Violet in May, when her injured leg seemed to be worsening, and they went to observe her from the president’s office at New York University, which looks out onto her nest.

But N.Y.U. opted to turn the matter over to the state, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation brought in its own medical rescue team, which concluded that she was coping with her injury well enough that the risks entailed in trying to capture Violet and week-old Pip outweighed the benefits.

Roger_Paw reported Saturday that If Violet is deemed strong enough to return to the wild, the Horvaths will release her. Otherwise, she will live in an outdoor enclosure.

“This is a great Christmas gift,” cockatielnyc, in the Hawk Cam chat room, said of the Christmas Eve rescue.

Many others expressed joy and relief Violet would receive medical attention, but it is too soon to tell whether this can be called a Christmas miracle.

Pipette added, “We cannot know outcome now, but as you have said, V (Violet) is in a better situation and in good hands. Warm, safe, fed, protected.”

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