Owl survives 140-mile trip sitting between grille and radiator of SUV

A woman traveling the turnpike from central to south Florida last week picked up an unexpected hitchhiker she actually thought she had run over. It was a great horned owl, and it ended up in the most unlikely of places: Between the grille and radiator of the woman’s SUV, where it traveled for 140 miles. CBS News has the story:

So, Sonji Coney-Williams was driving 60 mph near Yeehaw Junction when she came upon a great horned owl sitting in the middle of the highway last Thursday evening.

“He never moved,” Coney-Williams told CBS News this week. “So I said, ‘Oh my God, I hit a bird’ and I felt so bad.”

But it was very dark and she didn’t pull over. Later that night, she checked into a hotel. The next morning as she attempted to drive off, a couple of people flagged her down, pointing to the front of her SUV, according to SunSentinel.com.

“I told them I didn’t want to see it,” she told the newspaper. “I knew exactly what happened.”

But she didn’t know exactly what happened. It was then she discovered the owl peeping out from the other side of the grille. She called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A FWC officer extracted the owl and transported it to the South Florida Wildlife Center, where it was dehydrated but responsive with no major trauma or fractures.

The owl was scheduled to be driven back to Yeehaw Junction and released Friday in an all’s well that ends well story.

But the mystery remains: How did the owl manage to avoid becoming roadkill and end up between the grille and radiator flying into a car traveling 60 mph? We’ll probably never know.