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Owl stuck in truck survives highway trip, released to wild

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, March 29, 2017 file photo, Jane Kelly, owner of On the Wing, in Epping, N.H., holds a barred owl that is recovering there after being hit by a truck and becoming lodged between the cab and the cargo hold of a truck traveling from Massachusetts to New Hampshire earlier in the month. Kelly, who helped care for the owl over the last six months, said the raptor, named "Trucker," was released Saturday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Wilmington, Mass., where the mishap originally occurred. (AP Photo/Michael Casey) Michael Casey


Associated Press
Saturday, September 30, 2017

An owl that was hit by a truck last spring and traveled from Massachusetts to New Hampshire wedged between the truck cab and trailer is ready to hunt crawfish and moles again.

The bird’s wings and tail feathers were shattered and it showed signs of head trauma after the bird was discovered by the truck driver and turned over to an owl rehabilitator in Epping.

Jane Kelly helped care for the owl over the last six months and said the bird, named Trucker, was released Saturday in Wilmington, Mass., where the mishap originally occurred.

Kelly said the owl was ready to take flight and go home.

New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officer Chris McKee said it’s a miracle the owl survived.

He said the owl was likely trying to hunt for rodents along the highway when it collided with the truck.

Truckers Will Sword and Tyler Buckley, based in Londonderry, were on the road in Massachusetts when they heard a bang.

When they stopped, Buckley was shocked to see an owl trapped between the cab and the cargo hold.

N.H. State Police referred them to Kelly, who advised the truckers to gently remove the bird from the truck, keep it warm and place it in a box.

“It’s been a long haul,” said Kelly, who runs a rehabilitation and education center for birds of prey.