'Quite a journey': Man drives hours with owl stuck in grille of pickup truck

Torie Gray said it wasn't until after his 300-mile journey that he discovered his accidental passenger.


A man moving from Alabama to southwest Florida traveled hundreds of miles with an owl stuck in the grille of his pickup truck. The owl survived.

Torie Gray said he was on Interstate 75 when he saw the vehicle ahead of him swerve to avoid hitting a great horned owl. The owl dodged that car but couldn't escape Gray's truck.

Gray, who didn't know the owl became lodged in the front of his truck, continued his 300-mile journey to Naples, Florida. It wasn't until he arrived in Naples that he discovered his accidental passenger.

Gray called a wildlife hospital and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida sent a volunteer to help dislodge the bird. Gray said the bird did more damage to the truck than to itself.

The CSF said it is optimistic the owl will make a full recovery:

"This great horned owl had quite a journey. As he was flying across the road, he was hit by a pick-up truck, and actually broke through the front grill. It wasn't until the driver finished his 300 mile drive that he realized that the owl was actually IN his truck! He was quick to call the wildlife hospital, and our volunteer Tim Thompson went over to retrieve the owl.

"The owl was dull and had some swelling and laceration on one elbow, due to the impact of the truck. He was given some fluids, pain medications and laser therapy and placed in a cage to recover. After a week or so of treatment, he has moved to an outside enclosure and staff is optimistic about his recovery."