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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A Winston-Salem police officer helped to rescue a hawk from underneath a car, but the injured bird’s story later took a tragic turn as a rehabilitator discovered the severity of the bird’s injury.

The incident happened before noon on Friday on High Point Road in Winston-Salem.

  • Hawk rescued in Winston-Salem after getting stuck in car during accident
  • Hawk rescued in Winston-Salem after getting stuck in car during accident
  • Hawk rescued in Winston-Salem after getting stuck in car during accident
  • Hawk rescued in Winston-Salem after getting stuck in car during accident

It’s a first for 8-year-old veteran police officer Adam Burak.

“When we were able to get closer to it, we noticed its right wing was caught under the bottom of the vehicle pinned,” Burak said.

Police say the hawk was eating breakfast by a tree when a driver slammed into the tree and the hawk standing beside it, trapping the bird underneath the vehicle.

“The bird is the same color as the leaves so when we first saw it we didn’t notice it but as you got up closer it was actually a hawk,” said Burak.

The officers lifted the car and covered the hawk before putting it inside a crate.

“Animal control can’t respond to calls with native creatures, so we had to do something,” he said.

That’s when Jackie Schaible, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, got the call for help.

“At first I felt he was pretty bright-eyed and had a pretty good chance of survival,” she said. “The leg was actually broken at the joint. That’s a kind of injury that’s not rehabitable. The joint is a very tricky area of these birds, and unfortunately, he is going to be euthanized as well.”

Schaible says it’s an unfortunate situation, but it’s not uncommon.

Last year, her nonprofit rescued about 400 birds in similar situations,

Schaible said, “More often than you probably think. There is a lot of car collisions with our wildlife. This situation is a little unique, but it does happen quite often. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but obviously our wildlife is no match for a vehicle.”

We checked in with police to see what caused the crash and if there were any charges. They say the case is under investigation.