Owl freed to the wild after SUV joyride in Fla.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WHDH) -- An owl is a free bird again following its spectacular ride trapped behind the grille of a fast-moving vehicle for hours.
After several days of recovery at the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale, the great horned owl found trapped behind the grille of a sport utility vehicle for hours and taken on a wild ride was set free Tuesday morning.
Sonji Coney Williams was heading south on the Florida Turnpike when the owl strike occurred not too far from Yeehaw Junction in Central Florida. "I was driving about 60 miles per hour, and he never moved, and so I said, 'Oh, my God, I hit a bird,' and I felt so bad, but it was very dark," she said.
It was not until the following day when a passerby told Coney Williams that an owl was in her car. No one knows how the owl ended up in the grille of the car, but it was lucky it did not get killed. "She was very stressed. She was panting, but other then that, there was no obvious injuries that I could find," said South Florida Wildlife Center Dr. Stefan Harsch. "It is amazing that this owl is doing so well considering the history. I was in awe."
After 11 days recuperating, the owl was ready to be returned where it came from. "This is a pretty miraculous situation," said South Florida Wildlife Center spokesperson Sherry Schleuter. "This owl did not sustain any injuries and was able to survive this ordeal without any wear and tear, and we are so happy today to be able to return him or her back to the area to live wild and free."