Driver finds surprise in grille after hitting coyote in Washington, video shows

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This is one lucky coyote.

After a driver hit the animal on Highway 2 in Washington state between Orondo and Wenatchee last week, the coyote got lodged behind the car’s grille — and was found trapped but alive when the driver got to work and stopped the car, iFIBER ONE News reports.

“It took about 45 minutes to get the coyote out and into an animal crate,” Brooks Davenport wrote in a July 3 Facebook post, adding that he works near the driver involved. “It had a broken leg. I didn’t get any pictures of it getting put in the crate because I was holding the crate.”

Davenport said car dealership mechanics helped the local Humane Society carry out the painstaking wildlife rescue, the Wenatchee World reports.

The woman driving the car suspected she might have hit something during her commute, but she didn’t spot anything in her rear-view mirror so she guessed that it was a false alarm — until she checked her grille, the World reports.

“So she really did not even see the coyote,” Davenport said, according to the newspaper.

Davenport said the driver found the animal after she’d been traveling “10 miles or so,” explaining in his Facebook post that “the coyote had gone through the air scoop and was … alive between the (grille) and the radiator.”

One photo posted by Davenport shows that the animal was visible looking at the car from the front. Other pictures capture the hood popped open as rescuers work to extricate the animal. And a short video clip on Facebook shows the rescue attempt in progress.

Davenport wrote that the Humane Society “did a great job.”

The local Humane Society did not immediately respond to McClatchy’s request for comment.

“A couple people asked the gal from the Humane Society what the strangest thing she had seen at work (was) and she replied you’re looking at it!” Davenport wrote.

But it turns out this lucky coyote isn’t alone: Another coyote survived a crash in a similar fashion two years ago. That animal rode for more than 20 miles trapped in the vehicle grille of a Canadian driver, who assumed she had killed the coyote she hit, the Idaho Statesman reported in September 2017.

“When I got out to look, this poor little guy was looking up and blinking at me,” the driver wrote in a Facebook post on the 2017 incident, per the Statesman.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.