LINWOOD (KSNT) – A bird of prey is getting a second chance at life thanks to the effort of local volunteers.

Diane Johnson with Operation WildLife spoke with 27 News about the recent, successful recovery and release of a red-tailed hawk back into the wild. The happy moment was made possible through the efforts of Johnson and her team of more than 80 volunteers. She says they help take care of wild animals out of their home base in Linwood.

(Photo Courtesy/Operation WildLife)

Johnson said the female hawk came to Operation WildLife after being hit by a truck and carried for around 50 miles in the grill on Jan. 11. Olathe Animal Control brought the injured animal to Johnson and her team in poor condition. She was suffering from a piece of metal wedged into her shoulder, a fractured upper beak and internal chest injuries. Surgery and antibiotics were necessary for the hawk to help her recover from her injuries, according to Johnson.

After a short stay with Operation WildLife, the hawk was released on Feb. 1. Taking only a few moments to survey her new surroundings and look back at her rescuers, the hawk took flight.

“Well anytime we can release something its a win,” Johnson said. “We take care of about 3,000 animals per year.”

The red-tailed hawk is just one of hundreds of other animals that Operation WildLife helps to return to the environment, which is made possible through donations, according to Johnson. The organization seeks to help people understand more about the animals that live in their area and solve problems between wildlife and locals. It is also one of the largest publicly-funded clinic and wildlife rehabilitation services in Kansas, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Operation WildLife has been open for more than 35 years and is always on the lookout for more volunteers and donations to help them rehabilitate animals. To get in touch, visit Operation WildLife’s website by clicking here or by calling 785-542-3625.