A Perth couple got more than they bargained for after picking up a car in the city’s south.
"My partner bought a car that hadn’t been running for a couple of months and had it towed from Rockingham to Samson," Jessie Russell told Yahoo News Australia. But it wasn’t until her boyfriend Harry popped the lid that they realised what else they’d bought.
"When he opened the bonnet to start working on it we noticed all the frogs," Jessie explained.
In a video of the engine of the red Mazda MX-5, a whole bunch of new green friends can be seen hiding amongst the hardware. "My first thoughts were 'ew'," the 30-year-old said. "Then: 'we need to get them out so they don't fry'. Then 'how many are there and how the heck do we get them out?'."
With a total of 11 frogs inside the engine, a panicked Jessie took to Facebook to call for help on how to remove "the little guys" from the car.
"Looks like they need a jump start," one person joked in the comments."I'd be worried that the car is going to croak it," said another.
A lot of commenters were stunned at the sight, with one saying: "How bizarre!" Many others urged the couple to return the frogs to the area where the car was from, using gloves or wet hands to make sure not to damage the creatures.
Armed with advice, Jessie and Harry got to work.
"We used a hose to get them out of the car and collected them," the young woman said, explaining that she used a container with a bit of water and a rock in it, and holes for ventilation. "We then took them to a lake close to where the car was purchased."
Frogs found in car 'tolerant'
The uninvited friends were motorbike frogs, according to Dr Jodi Rowley, Curator in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology at the Australian Museum — "a common frog in the Perth area and one very tolerant of human habitats".
"In fact, the third most tolerant frog in Australia of the human world," Dr Rowley explained. As for why they were in the car, she said they were likely using it as shelter as it made for an excellent hiding spot.
"Frogs hang out somewhere safe from predators in the day. The car may have provided hiding spaces and might even be a more tolerable temperature."
What to do if it happens to you
While finding almost a dozen motorbike frogs in your car is an unlikely occurrence, Dr Rowley had some advice for what to do if it happens to you.
"If they need to be moved, just capture them using gloves or fresh disposable bags if possible, changing between frogs, and put them somewhere safe as close as you can a few metres away, and somewhere they won't get eaten straight away!
"Then wash your hands just to be safe."
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