DENVER (AP) _ Meet Petunia and Martha, a pair of adventurous six-month-old animals returned to their respective homes after being inadvertently hijacked more than 1,000 miles.

Martha, a type of squirrel known as a marmot, landed Tuesday at Denver's Stapleton International Airport on a flight from Austin, Texas, where she was driven by unsuspecting tourists in their car's wheel well.

The caged and quivering animal was accompanied in the aircraft cabin by Kathy Kimmel, an off-duty Continental Airlines flight attendant chosen from among scores of people who volunteered to help with the rescue.

''She was fine,'' Kimmel said as she handed the marmot over to wildlife officials at the airport. ''A little bit nervous, but happy to be home.''

An hour later, Kimmel, who is entitled to fly for free, boarded another Continental flight to Austin with Petunia, a six-month-old Texas possum that ended up in Denver in the back of a watermelon truck.

Marion Zietz, a wildlife expert in the Denver area, has cared for Petunia since the possum arrived about two months ago, a little worse for wear with frost-bitten ears from the truck ride.

She nicknamed the animal Petunia, and fed her a diet of dried cat food, baby food and hard-boiled eggs.

''I tried fruits and meats, and she kept going back to the same foods,'' Zietz said.

Martha's plight was discovered when the Texas couple reportedly spied her bushy tail dangling from the wheel well after returning home last month from a Colorado backpacking trip. Officials involved in the exchange didn't know the couple's identity.

''It's unusual for a marmot to travel 1,000 miles. It didn't get off at any rest stops, which many do,'' said Shelby Shrigley, another Denver area wildlife rescuer.

Until Tuesday, the marmot had been living pretty luxuriously in the care of Sharon Schermerhorn of Austin Wildlife Rescue.

Nicknamed Martha by Schermerhorn's 8-year-old daughter, Melissa, the marmot was kept in a cage inside the family's air-conditioned home, feasting on broccoli, cauliflower, leaf lettuce, apples and Texas pecans.

''She loves apples,'' Sharon Schermerhorn said in an interview from Austin. ''She has adapted very well to Texas pecans.''

The exchange was arranged by Texas wildlife group and Zietz's group. Schermerhorn picked Kimmel as the go-between from more than 140 people who volunteered to help out with the swap, widely publicized in both Austin and Denver.

The wildlife groups, which specialize in rehabilitating lost wild animals, plan to release each animal back into the wilderness.

In the meantime, Martha will be turned over to a group member who lives on a ranch near Steamboat Springs, Shrigley said. Petunia will be given to Schermerhorn for further care.

Kimmel said Martha, whose cage was draped with a white towel during the flight, behaved better than some of the human passengers she has encountered.

''Definitely a 10,'' Kimmel said. ''She didn't require much attention.''