December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Gill
Thursday, March 15, 2012
A HAMSTER has been rescued by a mechanic after five days spent having the ride of her life.
Workers at Letchworth Volkswagen came to the aid of owner Fran Elkington and her pet Willow after the rodent escaped from a cardboard box.
The 33-year-old had adopted the hamster from Pets at Home in Letchworth GC but by the time she had made the 15-minute journey to her Hitchin home, Willow had disappeared.
“I found a big hole and the hamster was gone,” said Fran. “It had clawed its way out from the cardboard box.”
Fran spent the next five days leaving food and water in her VW Beetle in a bid to tempt the hamster out of it’s hiding place.
After various attempts - including use of a humane rat trap - had failed, she decided to contact the VW garage in Works Road which said it would take a look for free.
“I just swallowed my pride and humiliation and called the garage, as she was just too clever for me!” said Fran.
VW technician Graham Day was armed with the task of finding the hamster and, after looking under the dashboard and seats, discovered there was debris under one of the back seats.
He carefully removed the rear quarter panels, where he found Willow and her nest.
“The hamster didn’t attempt to run away, she just stared at me blinking a little in the light,” said Graham.
“I had to coax her out of her new home in which she appeared to be very happy! She had made a lovely nest using some of the car back seat fabric, seat belt, carpet and underlay. I had previously located a small box and carefully put the hamster into it to give back to his owner.”
Fran said: “I was really happy when they found my hamster. Everyone was coming down to see the hamster and my car - which was in pieces!
“I was relieved as it was really cold for her at the time and I was worried she might freeze to death.”
Fran’s VW Beetle has since been put back together but it seems Willow is still recovering from her ordeal.
“Every time I tried to touch her she just bit me,” said Fran, who did consider naming the hamster Houdini or Dracula.
“I’m trying to tame her but I’m having to wear garden gloves.”