GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A great horned owl is recovering at a Scottsdale animal sanctuary after being hit by a truck and then getting stuck in the grille.
"She actually seems like a fighter," said Laura Hackett, a wildlife biologist with Liberty Wildlife. "She seems pretty strong." The adult owl has a few bumps and scratches but is doing well otherwise.
"She definitely has a major headache," Hackett said.
The owl got hurt Wednesday night. Mike and Annette Hanson were driving when they hit something on the highway.
"We were coming home from dinner with some friends," Annette said.
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"We heard a loud bang, and [Annette] thought maybe someone had ran into us," Mike explained.
That something turned out to be the owl, and she was stuck in the front of their truck. The Hansons tried to free the owl themselves. It did not go well.
"I ... realized I was stressing the bird out," Mike said.
"You don't want to mess with things with talons," Hackett said.
The Hansons called Liberty Wildlife for help, but the bird had to wait -- head lodged in the grille -- until morning. Once rescuers freed her first thing Thursday morning, they took her to Liberty Wildlife to check for injuries. The owl is on some medications, and the staff at Liberty Wildlife will keep an eye on her for the next few days. They're hoping to release her back into the wild eventually.
The Hanson's say they don't give a hoot about the damage to their truck.
"We're just glad the owl is OK, Mike said. "We can replace the grille."