A Great Horned owl was rescued recently after it accidentally hitched a ride from Denver to Fort Collins via a minivan on the highway.

According to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, the owl collided with the front of a vehicle that was driving north on I-25 last Monday evening (October 11). When the motorist arrived at their final destination in Fort Collins, they were startled to find the live owl lodged in the forward engine compartment of the van. Apparently, when the bird struck the vehicle, the impact drove it through the grill, where it then became stuck between the lower grill area and the radiator.

A rescuer with the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program helped to perform a very tricky extraction, and fortunately, neither the owl nor the vehicle experienced further damage during this process. The rescuer did mention that the owl was pretty angry though, and rightfully so after having been through that intense ride on I-25.

Following the extraction, the grumpy Great Horned owl was taken to the RMRP facility. The next morning, staff performed an in-depth physical exam which revealed that the owl had only suffered a minor scratch to one of its eyes, plus a few abrasions, bruises, and several cracked feathers.
It's now been a week since the tough owl's vehicle collision, and it's currently continuing to heal in one of the outdoor enclosures at the RMRP facility. Their ultimate goal is to release the owl back into the wild once it's fully ready.

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