An owl rescued from behind the grill of a pick-up truck weeks ago has been released back into the wild in Florida despite the bird of prey initially having little chance of survival.
Firefighters from the Lake County Fire Rescue said they were called to the scene last month to remove an owl stuck in the Dodge truck of resident Laura McQuilkin.
"We expected more of a body removal than a rescue," said Lieutenant Robert Staab.
But, they were able to get the poor barred owl out, and after bringing him to a rehabilitation center, they discovered the owl suffered a fractured tibia.
Officials were also unsure whether the owl would fly again.
Despite the grim outlook, animal officials nursed the owl they named "Lucky" back to health, and a month later, firefighters and McQuilkin joined the rehabilitation team in releasing the owl in a local park.
In fact, officials even gave McQuilkin the honors of personally throwing Lucky in the air. In a video of the send-off posted to the Lake County Fire Rescue's Facebook page, the owl can be seen flying off.
"He's just such a beautiful owl," McQuilkin said. "I'm so happy he's okay."