An Alberta woman who thought she’d struck and killed a coyote with her car says she was shocked to discover it alive and trapped in her front grill.

Georgie Knox says she hit the coyote with her Toyota on the QEII highway last week, and thought for sure that the crunch she heard was the sound of her car rolling over the animal. It wasn’t until she stopped at a traffic light some 30 kilometres later that someone told Knox about the live coyote sticking out of the front of her car.

“I was in shock!” she told CTV Calgary in a written message. “When I first hit him I felt terrible, thinking I killed him.”

Knox says the animal was blinking at her from inside the grill. “I felt horrible when I realized I took him with me all the way from Airdrie,” she said. “I thought he must be suffering and was going to die so I was very upset.”

Photos posted on Knox’s Facebook page show the coyote awkwardly squeezed into the broken lower grill of the white Toyota.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife were called in to extract the coyote.

“Their biologist checked him over and gave him the good to go,” Knox wrote on Facebook. “Clearly mother nature has other plans for this special little guy!”

A video posted by Knox on Facebook shows the coyote being released back into the wild. The video has registered more than 22.5 million views since Saturday.

With files from CTV Calgary