The Mighty Miracle Mouse
By Jennifer Taylor, Animal Care Coordinator
A distraught woman appeared at our door holding a bird feeder. A mouse was trapped in between closely spaced bars. It had somehow weaved itself through the tight spaces, and locked its body so it could not move any appendage. This truly was one of the most shocking sights I have seen at Wild Care. It had been trapped there overnight. We wondered how it could still be alive.
Leah (one of our Wildlife Rehabilitators) and I grabbed some tools and tried to figure out the quickest way to get the poor mouse out. After popping a rivet and a hinge, and
taking a piece off, we realized that the only way was to cut the sheet metal bars themselves that were squeezing the mouse’s body. It was a heavy gauge steel and the only cutters we had that were strong enough were huge and awkward. To think of pressing those thick open blades around the metal between the folds of a mouse’s skin was frightening. The mouse could so easily be hurt. But, there was no other choice. I said… “1-2-3”, and forced the handles of the bolt cutter together. THE MOUSE WAS UNHARMED! I quickly cut the second rung and we gently pried its little contorted body out. Nobody expected what happened next.
It was like a science fiction movie. Its crooked body seemed to inflate itself. It moved all of it legs and scurried under a cloth in the box we had prepared for it. Crazy! (Please see the Before and After pictures.). We examined the mouse carefully and saw that it was a lactating female. Its right eye was a concern to us, along with the condition of its spine and internal organs.
After a couple of hours and some hydration, the mouse was seen being active in its habitat – getting speedier by the minute. By the next morning she had built a nest of paper towel pieces that she had shredded herself. She had eaten food, and there were plenty of mouse droppings her habitat. It was a miracle! Her eye was no longer an issue, and after a few days she continued to gain strength. A week later a volunteer brought the Mighty Miracle Mouse back to her own territory where she was released in front of her happy rescuer. I hope her babies were old enough to have survived and reunite with her.
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Wild Care has a state-of-the-art seabird therapy pool, which allows seabirds and waterfowl to exercise on running water. This will help our bird friends recover more quickly so they can get back to their watery habitats!