A Great Horned Owl who was just hanging out around Yeehaw Junction in Central Florida became an unwitting passenger behind the grille of a passing sports utility vehicle when the big bird decided to stop on the Florida Turnpike on Thursday night.
The owner of the vehicle, Sonji Coney Williams, told WSVN.com that she was driving on the Florida Turnpike at about 60 miles per hour after dark when she saw a bird in the road. "He never moved, and so I said, Oh, my God, I hit a bird." Ms. Williams said she had no idea she might have hit an owl.
Sonji Williams told WSVN reporters that, while she was running errands on Friday afternoon, "There was a family that pulled in front of my parking space and flagged me down and said, 'Don't move, don't move, you have something in the grille of your car, and then they said, It's an owl,'" .
When she looked into the grille of her SUV, Sonji Williams saw two huge yellow eyes staring back at her, and she said she was about to faint. She immediately called Florida Fish and Wildlife, and they sent an officer.
The Wildlife Officer arrived, popped up the hood of the SUV and reached in carefully with a towel to gently remove the Great Horned Owl, who was stuck behind the grille.
The officer said the owl appeared to be in good shape and suffered no injuries, but it is spending some time in a sanctuary for observation. Let's hope the big bird is now a little wiser and will find a safer place to sit than in the middle of a freeway.