Owl survives 140 miles in front grille

Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:49 PM

PLANTATION, Fla., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Veterinarians in Florida said a great horned owl that survived a 140-mile trip stuck in the front of a sport utility vehicle is expected to recover fully.

Sonji Coney-Williams said she apparently struck the owl on her way from her Central Florida home to her son's South Florida home Thursday night when she thought she spotted a bird standing in the road, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.

Coney-Williams said she stopped for the night in Plantation and was flagged down when she began driving again the following day.

The pedestrians revealed the owl was trapped between the front grille and radiator of the vehicle. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer responded to the scene and freed the owl, which was taken to the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Sherry Schlueter, director of the center, said the avian was dehydrated but responsive when it arrived.

"It was a good sign," Schlueter said.

She said the owl was treated with antibiotics for anemia and is being kept in a raptor habitat ahead of its scheduled release Friday in Yeehaw Junction.

"It's going in a nice, padded carrier this time," Schlueter said.

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