When an enormous great horned owl was found dead on the ground in Inwood Hill Park last month, the Department of Environmental Conservation promised to find out what laid the noble beast low. Today, the results of the autopsy were announced and — there’s really no way to sugarcoat this — the owl died of herpes. Bird herpes.
“Necropsy results for the female great-horned owl concluded the virus had attacked the bird’s spleen, liver, and alimentary canal,” DNAinfo reports, reassuringly adding that avian herpes, while contagious among birds, can’t spread to humans.
Good thing, too, because human New Yorkers have just about all the herpes they can manage already.
Herpes Kills Inwood Owl [DNAinfo]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 26, 2011