Miracle escape for stoat trapped in grill of sports car

BRITAIN'S luckiest stoat hitched an unwanted lift with a man from Ewerby when it got run over by his sports car.

The stoat then survived a hair-raising 32-mile journey trapped in the front grill, travelling at speeds of up to 70mph.

The foot-long creature was struck at 60mph and was then trapped for seven hours with its face and legs poking out the front of the BMW Z4.

It was crossing the A1 near Colsterworth, when it was hit by Merv Draper, 55, of Ewerby as he swerved to avoid a hedgehog crossing the road at 4am last Tuesday.

Merv was returning from a night shift at RAF Cottesmore, in Rutland, as he spotted the light-brown creature desperately scurrying across the tarmac in his car headlights as he turned onto High Dyke.

The father-of-one thought the animal had dodged his wheels and continued on the 30-mile drive home.

But when he and his wife Deborah, 42, awoke at 11am they were stunned to find the bewildered stoat staring at them from the front grill of their silver BMW.

The stoat was frantically trying to wriggle free and all that could be seen of him were his two front legs and his head - his body was somehow wedged inside the car.

Aeroplane technician Merv describe the scene as 'unbelievable' and quickly ran down to the local vet who advised him to phone the RSPCA.

Mr Draper said: "It must be Britain's fastest stoat - he must have been hanging off the front of the car at up to 70mph.

"My wife and I just couldn't believe he was stuck fast in the grill - it looked like he had hit it side on and the clips on the grill had opened and then shut leaving him trapped.

"When I told the vet what had happened he just looked at me like I was totally insane and advised me to ring the RSPCA.

"It took me about 45 minutes to pull my car apart to get him out. I'm pleased he's OK and hopefully now he'll stay off the roads in future."

* Have you ever experienced a miracle escape like that of 'motor stoat'? Email andy.hubbert@jpress.co.uk