AN owl who was on the verge of death has been released into the wild thanks to rescuers.

The tawny owl, who sustained a serious eye injury after it flew into the front of a car bonnet, was rescued by Durham Police officers on Sunday, August 11.

The bird was found by police officers as they made their way back to the station at 2.30am on Sunday morning.

They found the owl distressed on the roadside, outside of Shildon.

PC Lorraine Nelson – a wildlife liaison officer – approached the bird and took it to the Wilson Veterinary Group, in Bishop Auckland.

A spokesperson from Durham Police said: "We are keeping our fingers crossed for a positive outcome.

"Thankfully PC Lorraine Nelson is a wildlife liaison officer, so when he kicked off by flapping his wings she managed to keep hold of him."

Veterinary nurse, Sadie Holmes, treated the bird at the veterinary centre and took it home to care for.

Following the incident, Miss Holmes said: “I’m hoping he makes a big recovery. He is aware of everything going on, I’m just making sure he is comfortable.”

The veterinary nurse made sure the owl was in a stable condition before she released it into the wild after treatment.