Friday, June 3, 2011

Kookaburra survives 435 mile trip stuck in car's grille

A lucky kookaburra has survived a miraculous 700km-plus journey stuck in the grille of a car after being hit near Scone, NSW. Bruce Wham, of Wollongong, was on the New England Highway and heading towards Brisbane at 100km/h when his car hit one of two kookaburras that darted in front of it. "There was a bang and I thought, uh oh, there's one dead kookaburra," he said.

He stopped for petrol when passers-by noticed the bird stuck in the grille of his Mazda 6. It was motionless and Mr Wham and onlookers thought it was dead. "I must have hit him up the bum because his head and a little bit of one wing were sticking out," he said. Mr Wham then drove on to chilly Stanthorpe where he stayed overnight. Gazing at his car, he thought he saw the bird move. Locals inspected the kookaburra but advised him the bird was dead.

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Arriving in Brisbane the next day, he went to remove the carcass, to find an alive, irritated and extremely ruffled kookaburra. Mr Wham phoned the RSPCA and allowed staff to cut out a part of the grille to extract the bird after its 25-hour ordeal. For the past week, Gorilla, so named after the mode of its transport, has been recovering.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said it was one of the most unusual animal survival stories staff had come across, given the bird could have died from the impact, the lengthy car trip, the cold or the shock. "Not only was he in the grille and still alive but he ... basically just had a cut wing," Mr Beatty said. The RSPCA hopes a bird-lover might take the kookaburra south with them for release near Scone.

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