A Great Horned owl was rescued recently after it accidentally hitched a ride from Denver to Fort Collins via a minivan on the highway.

According to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, the owl collided with the front of a vehicle that was driving north on I-25 last Monday evening (October 11). When the motorist arrived at their final destination in Fort Collins, they were startled to find the live owl lodged in the forward engine compartment of the van. Apparently, when the bird struck the vehicle, the impact drove it through the grill, where it then became stuck between the lower grill area and the radiator.

A rescuer with the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program helped to perform a very tricky extraction, and fortunately, neither the owl nor the vehicle experienced further damage during this process. The rescuer did mention that the owl was pretty angry though, and rightfully so after having been through that intense ride on I-25.

Following the extraction, the grumpy Great Horned owl was taken to the RMRP facility. The next morning, staff performed an in-depth physical exam which revealed that the owl had only suffered a minor scratch to one of its eyes, plus a few abrasions, bruises, and several cracked feathers.
It's now been a week since the tough owl's vehicle collision, and it's currently continuing to heal in one of the outdoor enclosures at the RMRP facility. Their ultimate goal is to release the owl back into the wild once it's fully ready.

7 Animal Shelters of Fort Collins

Grand Junction Shares Their Adorable Pet Photos

Recently we asked you to share your most recent photo of your pet with us - and we can tell that Grand Junction people love to show off their pets. Thank you so much for sharing part of your family with us on Facebook and on the radio station app If you want to smile - a lot - scroll on for a bundle of pet happiness.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.