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Photos: Man finds squirrel's stash under hood of his car

Hailey Montgomery
Digital Reporter

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9:22 PM - A Michigan resident was surprised to find his vehicle had become a clever hiding spot for a squirrel's winter food stash this week.

While pulling out of his driveway in the Lake Orian area, Paul Ziemba, 23, heard a strange clicking noise and left his vehicle to investigate. He popped the hood of his Jeep Compass to find hundreds of pine cones stashed inside, spread over the engine compartment and tucked deeply into hard to reach spots. 

 “My initial reaction was, are you kidding me? I have to clean this up? I was pretty stunned," he said.

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Ziemba lives in a suburban neighbourhood on the outskirts of Metro Detroit, with plenty of coniferous, cone bearing trees. He often sees squirrels running beside his home, carrying pine cones, and often saw cones on his windshield. He did not any animals under his hood, but suspects a squirrel is the culprit.

He believes that a squirrel was likely storing the pine cones for 2-4 weeks before he made the discovery. 

Seeds of pine and other coniferous cones are a staple of the small rodents diet. Ziemba quickly removed the cones from his vehicle, but left them under a nearby tree in hopes that the critter wouldn't go hungry.

"I thought, if I’m messing up his hibernation stash, try to do something nice for the guy," he said.

Ziemba cleaned his engine to the best of his ability, but some cones are still stuck inside. Courtesy of Paul Ziemba.

Squirrels do not hibernate for the winter, but create large stashes of food to sustain them over the winter as other food sources can become scarce. 

While removing the debris was a pesky task, Ziemba believe things could be much worse -- he is happy that the squirrel was not killed or injured by the heat of the engine. 

With files from Andrew Osmond

Watch below: Can pine cones predict winter weather?

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