Some sad news to end this week: Violet, the matriarch of a family of red-tailed hawks in Washington Square Park and beloved star of the Times's "hawk-cam", has died following surgery to amputate her injured foot. She was believed to be about five years old.
Raptor rehabilitator Robert Horvath told the Times that Violet died from "heart-related complications" following the surgery to remove her leg, which was injured by a fishing line. She appeared to have gotten her leg tangled in the line the night her baby, Pip, hatched, and had been suffering since. Horvath performed the surgery last night, but posted the sad news on the Facebook page for Wildlife In Need Of Rescue and Rehabilitation:
We are extremely heart sick to have to announce to everyone that Violet has passed away . She came through the surgery very well . She woke up and was sitting up fluffing her feathers . All of a sudden she had a heart attack . the Vet did CPR on her for 20 minutes to no avail. xrays showed that at some point after her right foot had deteriorated , her left femur was broken . we don't know how she ever survived for as long as she did . We are somewhat relieved that at least Violet wasn't suffering alone somewhere . She was warm, peaceful and had a full belly and pain medication .We just couldn't get her in time .
Horvath also wrote that that he plans to have a plaque made in honor and memory of Violet, placed in a tree in the park. In the meantime, Violet's mate, Bobby, was seen with a new female companion on the ledge where he and Violet once nested together.