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'Intoxicated' cockatoo survives crashing into vehicle

By Ben Hooper

Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A cockatoo that escaped serious injury when it became embedded in the front grill of a moving vehicle is suspected of flying drunk, Australian rescuers said.

Casper's Bird Rescue said a driver traveling in the Adelaide Hills area spotted a flock of cockatoos, but didn't notice until she arrived at work in Hahndorf that a cockatoo had flown into the front grill of her vehicle and become stuck.

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"She thought that she might have hit one because she felt a bit of a bump," Casper's Bird Rescue volunteer Wendy Warren told the Australian broadcasting Corp.

"But she didn't realize it was actually trapped in the car and very much alive until she pulled up at work and saw it sticking out the front of the bonnet," Warren said. "I've never seen anything like it."

Warren and some helpful bystanders used a crowbar and a circular saw to free the cockatoo, which they dubbed Pretzel.

The rescuer said she was shocked when she took Pretzel to a veterinarian and learned he had evaded serious injury from the crash.

"I thought he would at least have a few fractures, his wing was quite twisted when we pulled him out. But the worst he has is one little scratch under one wing and one missing flight feather," Warren told 7 News.

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She said the bird, which is scheduled to be released during the next few days, may have been drunk when it crashed into the car.

"Sometimes cockatoos and galahs will eat fermenting wheat and grapes on the side of the road and get a little bit drunk so it's possible that he was under the influence and that's why he decided to loop back around towards this giant chunk of metal," she said.

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