WAUKESHA COUNTY -- After being hit and trapped in the grille of a truck traveling more than 70 miles-per-hour, a red-tailed hawk being cared for at the Humane Animal Welfare Society is back in full health. Saturday, March 17, "Griller" was released into the wild.
Griller was struck back in February on Highway 16 in Waukesha. The driver of the truck, Eric Broom, said there was nothing he could do.
"Unfortunately at the rate of speed I was going, I knew I was going to hit it," Broom said.
The hawk was carefully extricated from the grille and taken to the Wildlife in Need Center in Oconomowoc.
Wildlife experts were hopeful Griller would make a full recovery -- and he did just that.
Surrounded by a small audience on Saturday, Griller spread his wings and took off. He perched up in a nearby tree before soaring away.
Watch the video release below:
Wildlife experts say the hawk is one of the luckiest birds they've ever met.
"We were kind of nervous at the beginning because there was a lot of internal trauma," said Mandy Feabel, animal care director. "But once we took a second X-ray and saw that the swelling had gone down, we were pretty hopeful we could rehabilitate him. I'm really glad after a month of care...we were able to get this bird back into the sky."
Griller was released into an area wildlife officials say he's familiar with. That might be the reason he stayed perched in the nearby trees after his release.