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For a magical moment in January, D.C. had its very own mascot. The snowy white owl first appeared during rush hour near McPherson Square to a crowd of stunned onlookers. Two days later, the owl, later determined to be female, was spotted perching atop the Washington Post’s headquarters, which wasn’t bad for publicity. Crowds gathered. A million photos were taken, and a million more tweets followed. It seemed like nothing could sway D.C.’s love and fascination with the winged predator.

Later that month, our beloved Snowy Owl was hit by a Metro bus and an SUV. But it survived the hit-and-run, and after evading D.C. police for a couple of tense hours, wound up in an owl rehab center at the National Zoo. Shortly after, the owl was sent to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, where it finished rehab and was released in April.

Case closed? Not quite. In August, the Post reported that Snowy was mysteriously found dead on the side of a Minnesota highway after having apparently suffered yet another vehicular impact. RIP, you poor, poor little owl.