Stowaway Chipmunk Returns to Utah

Stowaway Chipmunk Returns to Utah

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SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) -- A wayward chipmunk was on its way home to Utah Wednesday after stowing away in a car and hitching a long ride west to California.

The adventurous creature hadn't a clue it was bound for the Golden State when it hopped into Dixie Goldsby's Honda while she was camping in southeastern Utah. And Goldsby didn't realize she had a stowaway.

On the drive home, Goldsby began to suspect that a chipmunk might have come along for the ride. She noticed a chocolate bar she had left in the car had been nibbled.

Goldsby discovered the furry passenger when she returned home.

On the advice of a pet store operator, Goldsby made a trap out of a shoe box with peanut butter as bait. Luckily the chipmunk had a sweet tooth because when she checked the box, there it was.

She caught it and brought it to WildCare, a wildlife rehabilitation center. After spending three days in Goldsby's car, WildCare Director of animal care Melanie Piazza said the chipmunk was "dehydrated, very scared and stressed out."

But that wasn't the end of the chipmunk's journey. Bay Area pilot Ray Romano offered the use of his time and his aircraft. Goldsby also accompanied her furry friend on its journey home.

The chipmunk was airborne and Utah-bound Wednesday afternoon.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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