Woodchucks Ate Paul Ryan's Car, Completely Ruining It

House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed woodchucks ate parts of his Chevy Suburban, making the car useless.

"My car was eaten by animals," Ryan told the audience at an Economic Club event in Washington D.C. Thursday. "It's just dead."

Ryan said the car was parked outside his mother's house in Wisconsin. After arriving home following a winter trip to Florida, she discovered that the car would not stop. As NPR notes, Ryan has not been allowed to drive himself, since he is a top Congressional leader with a security detail.

"So I towed it into the dealer, they put it up, and they realized that a family of woodchucks lived in the underbody of my Suburban," Ryan explained.

Ryan was not just making this up. UCLA professor Daniel Blumsterin told The Verge that for some species of marmot, which includes woodchucks, car parts are a meal. "Apparently they're attracted to radiator fluid," the professor explained, adding that studies in Colorado show that marmots are interested in car parts there.

"We've got marmots climbing in cars and being driven around and sometimes getting killed and eating cars and destroying wiring," Blumstein explained to The Verge. "But usually they're going for the radiator fluid, somehow. And it can't be good for them."

To keep marmots away, you can put chicken wire under your car, Blumstein suggests. However, the National Park Service now advises against this because "marmots have learned to get around the wire."

If you do not want to go the chicken wire route, urine is another option.

Christine Maher, a biology professor at the University of Southern Maine, told The Verge she did not buy the radiator fluid theory since woodchucks are burrowers during the winter. She suggests that the woodchucks might have just been looking for a place to hibernate.

Elsewhere in his speech at the Economic Club, Ryan said he believes last year's Republican tax cut is helping the economy, but disagreed with President Donald Trump's recent tariffs on China and other countries.

Ryan was asked what he plans to do after January, when he leaves Congress. He plans on getting a new Ford truck to replace the Suburban. He also renewed his license since he can finally drive.

The woodchucks story was latched on to by social media, with many welcoming woodchucks to the resistance and joking about their politics.

"Vote for woodchucks," one person wrote.

"Cool how the beasts of the field are rising up As Was Foretold in the Prophecy," another added.

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"Don't pretend to call yourself an activist unless you've eaten Paul Ryan's car," one Twitter user wrote.

Photo credit: Alex Edelman/Getty Images