Hoot, hoot, hooray: Owl freed from vehicle’s grille

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SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. (AP) —Anowl that got trapped in the grille of a vehicle has lived to fly another day.

A barred owl took an unexpected three-hour ride to the Outer Banks of North Carolina over the weekend, said Lou Browning, the founder and president of Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation.

A family from Wilmington heard something hit their car on the drive to Southern Shores but kept going when nothing appeared out of the ordinary, Browning told news outlets. The owl was found after the family got to their destination, according to a Facebook post from the wildlife group.

“Nothing’s broken,” Browning said of the freed owl’s condition. “Just bruising.”

Barred owls are one of three owl species seen regularly in eastern North Carolina.

Owls getting hit by vehicles isn’t uncommon. Browning says he receives about 70 to 100 raptors a year from car strikes. He says they are often out hunting this time of year because they need more calories when it’s cold.

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