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A Delta Sonic mechanic in West Seneca got a surprise early this afternoon when he discovered an animal in the engine compartment of a vehicle brought in for an oil change.

John Beard, of South Buffalo, brought his 2012 Nissan Sentra to the Delta Sonic shop on Ridge Road around 12:30 p.m. But an employee found Beard in the waiting room minutes later and told him he thought a raccoon was hiding in the engine.

West Seneca animal control was notified and responded 15 minutes later. Assistant Animal Control Officer Jeff Schwing discovered that the animal was actually a woodchuck and used a water bottle to spray the woodchuck, which ran away.

Schwing said the department typically receives two calls a year to free animals inside vehicle engines.

Beard said his South Buffalo home is on a large tract of grassy, wooded land.

“We have a lot of land where I live from my property so I’ve seen a lot of woodchucks there,” he said.

lkhoury@buffnews.com