Routine oil change reveals woodchuck in car engine


Question: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A definite answer: A woodchuck can’t chuck any wood if he’s stuck in a car engine.

That was the case Wednesday at Delta Sonic on Ridge Road in West Seneca.

John Beard sees a lot of woodchucks around his house in South Buffalo but didn’t realize one had snuck into his 2012 Nissan Sentra. When he took his car to Delta Sonic around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday for an oil change, a mechanic opened Beard’s engine and discovered an animal inside the engine compartment.

The mechanic thought it was a raccoon and called animal control.

When West Seneca animal control officers arrived, they quickly identified it as a woodchuck.

Assistant Animal Control Officer Jeff Schwing and another officer used a water bottle to spray the woodchuck, which jumped out of the car. The woodchuck then ran away from the south end of the oil change garage.

Beard, who was with his 15-year-old daughter, Jillian, said his South Buffalo home is on a tract of grassy, wooded land – his backyard is about 200 feet long and 10 feet wide.

“We have a lot of land where I live from my property so I’ve seen a lot of woodchucks there,” he said.

Beard said he was happy that Delta Sonic called animal control and the entire ordeal didn’t delay his oil change too long.

Schwing said the department typically receives two calls a year to free animals inside vehicle engines.

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