A cockatoo who became embedded in the front grille of a car travelling at high speed has miraculously escaped serious injury.
The bird was hit hard at 100 kilometres an hour, but the driver had no idea she had gained a passenger, as she travelled past Prospect Hill en route to Hahndorf, in South Australia.
“I believe he would have hit the grille and his body just shot through the plastic,” Wendy Warren from Casper’s Bird Rescue told Today Tonight.
The battered bird was trapped for almost half an hour.
“He was quite distressed. Obviously you would be if you’d been hit by a car that hard. So he was flapping about and squawking and making a big fuss,” Ms Warren said.
That was when volunteer bird rescuer Wendy Warren was sent to save the cocky.
“His whole body was stuck in the grille with his two little wings spread outside.
“We managed to get him out with the use of a crow bar and a circular saw,” she recalled.
And as if surviving the joyride was not miraculous enough, there was barely a bruise on him.
“I thought he would at least have a few fractures, his wing was quite twisted when we pulled him out. But the worst he has is one little scratch under one wing and one missing flight feather,” Ms Warren said.
‘Amazing he is fine with no injuries’
Wendy knows all too well this story could have had a very different ending.
“If he was a little higher he would have been hit by the bonnet, if he was a little bit lower he would have gone under the wheels – so it’s absolutely amazing that he just ended up in the grille and is fine with no injuries,” Ms Warren said.
And while ‘Lucky’ might have been an appropriate name for this bulletproof bird, another one was given to the fortunate animal.
“I had a chat with some of the other girls at the rescue, and we all decided that pretzel would be a fantastic name given the unusual position we found him trapped in. He was all curled up and twisted,” Ms Warren.
So with a little more R & R, he should be back in the air in no time.
“Pretzel’s on antibiotics for another seven days, once he’s done with that and been checked over by the vets he’ll be released back to its family,” she explained.
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And for those who come across a bird that has seen better days, rescuers say Pretzel is a prime example of why you should not give up.
“A lot of people think that birds are these dainty little creatures. They’re not. They’re tough. They’re related to dinosaurs and they know it. They’ll make it through a lot – lot more than you would think.
“He’s incredibly lucky to be alive and you know rescues like this really make it worth it,”