Hawk stuck in car grille rescued

Oct. 18, 2011 at 1:03 PM
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GRAPEVINE, Texas, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A Texas auto mechanic says he found himself with an unusual repair task -- rescuing a red-tailed hawk jammed into the radiator grille of a car.

Matt Whitehead, a mechanic at Park Place Lexus in Grapevine, said he's seen a lot of animals stuck in or struck by a car, but never something as large as a hawk.

"[I've seen] small birds, rodents, squirrels, reptiles. Anything but fish," Whitehead told WFAA-TV, Dallas/Fort Worth, Tuesday.

A customer who pulled into the dealer's service bay said he'd been driving at more than 60 miles an hour when the hawk collided with the front of his car.

Whitehead began to break apart the grille to get at the bird.

"Every bird we've ever seen hit a car has died," Whitehead said. "He was not moving."

Suddenly, Whitehead and other mechanics who had gathered around got a surprise.

"I looked in there and [the hawk] had his head turned kind of sideways," Whitehead said. "I could see his eye and he blinked."

"Nothing was broke," Whitehead said. "He wasn't even missing a feather that I'm aware. I never even saw any feathers."

Whitehead drove the bird to veterinarian Greg Moore, who said he was optimistic the bird could recover from a concussion and internal injuries and fly again.

"They did a good job -- handled the bird well," Moore said of the caring mechanics.

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