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Squirrel news alert: More than 200 walnuts stashed in Pittsburgh couple's (running) car


It was the nuttiest of coincidences. Chris Persic had just got his truck, which had been acting shaky, towed on a rainy Monday when Holly, his wife, called him from Northland library in Pittsburgh, concerned about a burning smell and a weird sound coming from her own car.

“Check under the hood and see if anything is on fire,” Persic said he told her while standing at the service station.

That’s when he received a text message from her with a picture of more than 200 walnuts nestled in a mound of grass stashed under the hood of the car.

“I was pretty shocked,” he told the National Post with a chuckle. “I showed it to the service manager and he said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before.’”

Using a rental car from the dealership, Persic met his wife at the library and proceeded to spend almost an hour in the rain cleaning out most of the walnuts and grass.

“It was pretty incredible, there were walnuts everywhere.”

Once the car was deemed safe to drive, the couple took it to the mechanic who removed the rest of the walnuts.

“The crazy thing is my wife works and uses her vehicle every day,” he said, adding that the last time she drove it was on Friday. “If it happened in three days, we had no clue.”

Persic reasoned that the walnuts probably dropped from the large walnut tree standing by their driveway. “The walnuts have been falling off for the past two weeks,” he said. The couple had been trying to get the tree cut down due to its size and had even called a tree company to come inspect it. “Pretty sure (the squirrels) had a vendetta against me,” he joked.

While an inspection of his truck revealed no walnuts (unfortunately), Persic said that the squirrels might have chewed through a wire that went into the fuel injector. Fortunately for the couple, neither vehicle was significantly damaged by the squirrels and they were able to get away without a hefty cost.

“Fortunately, it was raining so all the grass inside was damp,” he said. “Otherwise, it could have caught on fire.”

Turns out, finding a squirrel treasure horde stashed in your car is more common than you think. When Persic shared the story on Facebook, many commented with their own experiences and shared pictures of their own cars. “This made me check under my hood haha. Thanks for the tip,” reads a comment.

Another user said she found a nest of squirrel babies sleeping in the hood of her car. “This is the 4th time they nested under me hood,” she wrote. “Thousands in damages.”

The Persics’ mechanic cautioned that leaving the car parked outside during the cold months encourages animals to creep into the engine bay, seeking warmth. “If you let your car sit outside longer than two days, check underneath the hood,” Persic said he was told.

What could have been a tragic story resulted in a comedic lesson for everyone — except the squirrels. “There’s probably a squirrel wife pretty upset with her husband because they lost all their nuts for the winter,” he said.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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