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DEC Officials Say They Will Monitor Health Of Violet The NYU Hawk

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Violet the hawk (credit: CBS 2)

Violet the hawk (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It may be the best reality show around.

Red-tailed hawk “Violet” and her mate, “Bobby,” charmed their way onto nearly 800,000 computer screens. The New York Times’ “Hawk Cam” had been capturing their life on a window ledge on the NYU campus since April. Just last Friday, one of their eggs hatched.

“I think it’s just a window into nature and a proximity to something really beautiful,” Ellen Reznick told CBS 2’s Katie Fehlinger.

“It’s a wonderful example of maternal care and forbearance, and I think people can really relate to it,” Jane Schnitzer said.

But since her baby’s birth, Violet’s viewers noticed something wrong. It turned out Violet had severe leg swelling, which was apparently caused by a metal wildlife band attached months ago. So the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation stepped in to help.

After hours of assessing the situation 12 stories up, the team determined that Violet and her baby are doing well enough to not be disturbed — especially since any human interaction is risky.

“The bond with the mother would have been interrupted,” hawk expert Marie Winn said. “It will no longer ever be able to go into the wild because now it’ll be imprinted by humans.”

The DEC believes Violet may be suffering from an ongoing condition, and, for now, decided it will continue to use “Hawk Cam” to monitor her.

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