A technician at a garage in Derby got a big surprise while carrying out a service on a car when he uncovered a quartet of baby wood mice!
He had been working on a Mini Cooper at Five Lamps Auto Centre when he made the discovery while removing the air filter.
They were huddled together in a nest of leaves with their eyes still shut but there was no sign of their mum, who it is believed made the filter their home during lockdown as the car was hardly being used.
The RSPCA was called and it took the four mice to its Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, where staff named them Minnie, Mickey, Goofy and Donald.
The baby rodents’ eyes have since opened and the mice will be returned to the wild shortly after responding well to care and being fed on porridge, vegetables, nuts and grains.
Garage owner Peter York said: ‘The technician got quite a fright when he pulled out the air filter and found the little mice in there.
‘There was no sign of mum and we assume she probably ran off scared with the noise.
‘I guess because of lockdown the car had not been used much so the mum mouse must have thought it was a safe and warm place to build a nest.’
He added: ‘Fortunately, the babies were found and we are pleased they are doing well in RSPCA care.
‘In my time in this business we have found nuts in air filters which have been stored there by squirrels and some nibbles to wires by mice, but never have I come across a nest of baby mice.’
RSPCA inspector Sarah Burrows, who took the baby mice from the garage, said it was a lucky find.
‘These poor mice would not have survived for very long without their mum.
‘Fortunately, they were spotted and we are grateful to the garage for alerting us to this so we could help them. No animal is too small for us to rescue.’
The rescued mice safe and sound at the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre