It is suspected the mongooses entered the engine looking for warmth, Wildlife in Crisis said.
A Gauteng couple returning from a short holiday at the Kruger National Park were left baffled and surprised by a pair of furry “souvenirs” nestling in the engine of their car.
Riana and Leon van Coppenhagen returned to their home in Benoni on Tuesday afternoon and, while unpacking the car, Riana noticed cricket-like sounds emanating from the car’s engine, Benoni City Times reported.
“Leon said to me it must be something in the engine, and I said: ‘No, how is it possible – I do not want to see it’,” she said.
Upon closer inspection, the couple soon saw the tails of the two three-week-old dwarf mongooses in the engine.
Fearing they would be bitten if they tried to remove the animals, Riana posted a message on a community WhatsApp group to ask for assistance and members of the community soon came to the Van Coppenhagens’ aid.
After a few attempts to lure the baby mongooses out from beneath the vehicle, the little mammals eventually jumped down from the engine casing and made a dash for it.
They were eventually caught by the frantic volunteers, including members of the Crystal Park Community Police Forum, and safely put in a box before being transported to the Wildlife in Crisis Rehabilitation Centre in Springs.
Although it remains a mystery how the little creatures ended up inside the engine, Judy Davidson from the centre said she suspected the animals were probably looking for warmth.
“It is a miracle that they survived inside the engine for such a long time,” Davidson said.
She added the pair of mongooses would be kept at the rehabilitation centre until they were a bit older, after which the animals would be placed within a group of other animals ready to be released into a conducive habitat.