03/28/2012 01:06 pm ET Updated Mar 28, 2012

Fran Elkington, UK Student, Dismantles Car To Save Hamster That Escaped In Back

A student from Hitchin, England hired car mechanics to dismantle her Volkswagon Beetle in order to retrieve her new pet hamster that had escaped into the backseat on the drive home from the pet store, the UK Daily Mail reports.

Frank Elkington, a 33-year-old wildlife and marine biology student, told the paper that after she returned home from the pet store, she discovered that the hamster was no longer in the cardboard box she had placed it in for the short 15 minute drive. As a temporary solution, she placed food and water in the car and avoided driving it while she searched for the little creature, named Willow.

But five days and numerous missed classes later, Willow was still at large at in the car, avoiding capture while continuing to eat the food Elkington had provided, the Sun reports.

At last Elkington hired mechanics to remove the car's back panels, seats and doors in order to retrieve the hamster--all at a cost of $4,700. But when the workers finally found the hamster burrowed between the back seat and trunk, they offered to waive the fee and put the car back together for free, according to Comet 24 News.

"I was really happy when they found my hamster. Everyone was coming down to see the hamster and my car - which was in pieces!" Elkington told reporters. "I was relieved as it was really cold for her at the time and I was worried she might freeze to death."



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