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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 16:22 GMT
Hamster makes a meal of car cable
Hamsters are known for their voracious appetites
A Cumbrian woman is chewing over a huge garage bill after her daughter's pet hamster munched through the wiring of her car.

Melanie Mackie, from Carlisle, bought the pet, Samantha, for her daughter, Holly, eight, and was driving home from the shop when it disappeared.

Samantha was found the next day when Mrs Mackie took her car to the garage because it would not start.

The pet had chewed ignition cables, landing Ms Mackie with a 370 bill.

The mechanics spent hours taking apart the engine before the mischievous pet was discovered and returned to her new owners.

Ms Mackie said: "We took the car to the garage and they telephoned and said they had found a hamster, alive, behind the dashboard.

"It had eaten through the ignition cable. They put it in a cardboard box and it ate through that, so they put it in a toolbox with an apple until we arrived."

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