Two baby wild mice have been rescued and are being hand-reared at the home of an RSPCA officer – as the charity continues to respond to emergencies amid the coronavirus outbreak.
RSPCA officers were alerted after the orphaned wild mice were found at a Fairwood Road property in the Fairwater area of Cardiff.
The mice had been found by a member of the public who was pulling down a shed – and safely confined by a local lady and her daughter, who named the baby mice Mickey and Minnie, before being collected by the RSPCA on 25 March.
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the RSPCA is minimising unnecessary travel to wildlife hospitals – so the mice are instead being reared at the local home of an inspector.
The duo are being fed pet-replacement milk from a pipette, and are already able to nibble sunflower seeds – with feeding at their temporary abode caught on heart-warming video footage.
It is hoped they can soon progress into being cared for without hand-rearing from a small tank, before a return to the wild as soon as they are independent and strong enough to survive.
The rescue was completed by RSPCA inspector Darren Oakley – and was his very first solo job after completing his inspectorate training with the charity.
Inspector Oakley said: “This was an amazing first job to have as an RSPCA inspector.
“These poor mice were found behind a shed in Cardiff, and without their mother would not have survived for very long.
“Fortunately, a kind-hearted lady and her daughter safely confined them. They initially thought they were voles – making the nicknames Mickey and Minnie even more apt when it was revealed that they’re actually wild mice.
“These are really tough times for the RSPCA – but we are still out on the frontline, responding to emergencies like this. If anyone can help us at this time, they can donate online and help keep our emergency-only response going for the animals most in-need.”
Fellow inspector Sophie Daniels is now hand-rearing the mice at her home, before a future return to the wild.
She added: “It will likely be a matter of weeks before these mice can be returned safely to the wild, but they’re already doing really well – nibbling on sunflower seeds and drinking milk.
“With non-essential travel limited at these unprecedented times, we have kept these mice locally – and it will be lovely to hand-rear them in their hour of need.
“Rescuing wildlife is a really big part of what the RSPCA does – and we’re just glad to be able to help these two wild mice from what would have been a hopeless situation.”
The RSPCA recommends that if you find a rodent nest if possible leave the nest alone and bear in mind that the nest may belong to a legally protected species. However, if it is known that the parents are dead, or if you find a baby rodent out of the nest which is hairless, or has their eyes closed, they say to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 for further advice. If the young animal is active, mobile, furred and with eyes open, the RSPCA says the best thing to do is leave them alone.