Jan. 23 (UPI) -- An owl rescued from the front grill of a pickup truck in Florida was released back into the wild with help from the vehicle's owner.
Lake County Fire Rescue said in a Facebook post that Lt. Robert Staab and firefighter Brian Tindell rescued the owl from the front grill of Laura McQuilkin's Dodge pickup last month.
"We expected more of a body removal than a rescue. We got there, took a flashlight and looked at the front of the truck and there he was looking back at us," Staab said.
The rescuers consulted with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission before wrapping the bird in a jacket, loading it into a dog kennel at the fire station and transporting it to Avian Rehabilitation Center in Apopka.
The owl, dubbed "Lucky," by its rescuers, was treated for a fractured tibia.
Lucky was released Saturday with help from Staab, Tindell, McQuilkin, and the rehabilitation team.
"I'm excited beyond words. He's just such a beautiful owl. I'm so happy he's OK," said McQuilkin, who was given the honor of releasing Lucky at Gilbert Park in Mount Dora.
Laura McQuilkin, who accidentally hit the owl, had the honor of releasing "Lucky" back into the wild in Mount Dora today. pic.twitter.com/D8m5ZBUXNz— Lake Co Fire Rescue (@LakeFirePIO) January 22, 2017