A pheasant has had a lucky escape after it was found living under a car bonnet eight days after it was hit by the vehicle.
The bird was only discovered after a passing dog walker’s pet took a keen interest in the car, drawing attention to some slightly ruffled feathers behind the front grille.
The man alerted RSPCA officers and they traced the owner of the car, which was parked in Lickey Road, Rednal, Birmingham.
The car owner told animal inspectors the pheasant must have been in there for eight days, since they struck a bird during a drive in Worcestershire.
Inspector Emily Cheeseman, who rescued the bird last month, said: “When I found the couple who owned the car they looked gobsmacked when I said that a bird was found behind the car grille, because they realised it was from an incident over a week before.
“They said how they were driving home and were in the Worcester area when they hit a bird. They stopped the car to have a look around but could only see a few feathers so assumed it had flown off and they continued on their journey.
“It was only by chance this dog sniffed out the bird that it was discovered – miraculously still alive.
“The man who owned the car came to help me release the bird.
“He took some bolts off and wrenched up the casing at the front.
“Then I could see the bird walking about in the sealed unit near the front bumper of the car and was able to safely grab it and it appeared completely unscathed from the ordeal – which is unbelievable really.
“For the bird to survive the impact, be sucked through the grille, then live happily with no injuries for over a week is just amazing.
“I am just so pleased the dog was able to sniff him out and we had a happy ending.”
A vet who examined the bird found it was dehydrated but otherwise in good health and uninjured.
After a few days in care, it was released back into the wild.
Anyone with concerns for injured or trapped wildlife should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.