BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — We’ve all encountered wildlife on the roads, but they don’t usually get stuck in your car — much less survive.
A red-tailed hawk who suffered that fate Friday in northern Utah not only survived, but didn’t even break any bones.
He’s now being treated at a local wildlife rehabilitation center.
Dalyn Marthaler has been working with birds for 20 years and says this case is rare. Usually, a bird that gets hit at high speeds and stuck in a grill, as this bird did, would suffer much more damage.
“Get him out the door and get him back up in the sky — that’s the whole goal,” said Marthaler, the executive director at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.
Soon, they’ll be helping him fly again.
The hawk has been at the rehab for a few days. He was rescued from the grill of a truck Friday around 5 p.m. A Division of Wildlife Resources team member rescued him from the Tremonton area and brought him to the rehab center in Ogden.
Marthaler says the center sees about 2-3 birds per year that get stuck in grills, but they usually endure a lot more damage.
“Typically, when an animal goes through a grill and gets entangled, there’s all kinds of head trauma, broken bones, lacerations," she said. "This bird didn’t have anything other than some head trauma. It’s incredible — we just don’t see that."
The next step will be to get him out to a larger enclosure and make sure he can catch prey and survive again outside the rehab. This hawk is just one of many birds that come through the nonprofit.
“We are the only center covering all of northern Utah, so we take in about 4,000 animals a year,” Marthaler said. “Everything we do is based off donations from the general public. There is no state and federal money to cover the expenses for this type of thing."
Just for food alone, the wildlife rehab center must budget about $70,000 a year.
If you’d like to donate or are interested in volunteering, click here to visit their website.