Birds of prey make 'full recovery' after being ploughed into by SUV
- Credit: Runham Wildlife Rescue
Two birds of prey who were deliberately injured by an SUV driver and rescued by horrified onlookers have managed to make a miraculous recovery.
Laura Hines, 35 from Bungay, was driving with her husband and two sons along a snowy Ilketshall Saint Lawrence road on Monday, February 8 when they stopped to watch a buzzard tussling with a barn owl in its beak.
But as they pulled over to watch the "fascinating interaction" an SUV driver "purposefully swerved" into the animals.
The family rushed the birds to safety at Runham Wildlife Rescue (RWR) - where they recovered despite the odds.
Ms Hines said: "We were watching this amazing spectacle when this car just ploughed into them.
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"We couldn't leave them there because birds like that deserve to be protected.
"It was dark and we didn't get the car registration number, otherwise we'd have reported it to police."
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Covering the now-motionless creatures with blankets, the Hines family took them to the nearby Morrisons supermarket, where they'd arranged to meet local bird of prey enthusiasts Megan Warner and her dad Mike over Facebook.
Ms Warner, 21, said: "We drove straight over from Lowestoft to collect the birds and took them to RWR.
"We have birds of prey ourselves and were appalled by the needless cruelty on display here."
Kelly, 31, who manages RWR at Rollesby but does not want to reveal her full name, said the buzzard and barn owl came to her in "pretty bad shape".
"Both were treated for shock, but the owl was in a worse condition. He had abrasions on the face, was unable to stand and had concussion", she said.
"They were given fluid therapy and tube-fed formulated food before making a full recovery.
"The barn owl has been released after assessment, and the buzzard is scheduled for release as soon as he has gained weight."
Elliott Simpson, the rescue centre's vet, said: "Road traffic collisions involving birds of prey are almost always fatal. The fact that two birds were involved and are now doing well is something of a miracle."
Though RWR have had a tough time during lockdown - with flooding, donations drying up and an eviction from their previous site - Kelly said "any help" from the public would be appreciated.
"It's only through the public that we can keep caring for our local wildlife", she said.