Northeast Tarrant

Masked intruders rescued from car engine in Grapevine

A baby racoon peers out from a car engine at Park Place Motorcars Grapevine.
A baby racoon peers out from a car engine at Park Place Motorcars Grapevine. Courtesy

Four young masked bandits were caught squatting in and damaging a vehicle in Grapevine last week.

Lucky for them, they’re baby raccoons and “cute as could be.”

When a technician opened the hood of a car brought in for service at Park Place Motorcars in Grapevine on Tuesday, he found significant damage on the underside of the hood. As he peered inside to find the culprit, a tiny masked face peeked out, said Carolyn Alvey, spokeswoman for Park Place Motorcars.

The vehicle’s owner didn’t know the critters were in the engine.

Several technicians began taking apart the engine and extracted four baby raccoons. Another employee bought a cage, pillow and milk for the scared-but-friendly raccoons, who quickly became “mini-celebrities” at the dealership.

“They were a big hit,” Alvey said.

Alvey said it’s possible the little animals were seeking shelter from rising flood waters or lake levels. The mother wasn’t around, and with no way to find her, “the best thing for [the babies’] livelihood was to find an organization committed to nursing them and getting them back into their natural habitat,” Alvey said.

A wildlife rescue organization, which asked not to be identified, picked up the babies and will raise them until they can be released back into the wild.

This wasn’t the first time Park Place has rescued animals from cars, according to a news release. In 2011, employees freed a red-tailed hawk caught in a car’s grill, and last year, they rescued a kitten trapped behind a car’s grill.

“I guess because of the amount of wildlife in and around Grapevine, we seem to be pulling a lot of animals out of cars,” Alvey said.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST