Second rare dormouse found in Kildare tractor lamp box

A second dormouse, never before seen in Ireland, has been found in Kildare in a tractor lamp box

A second dormouse, never before seen in Ireland, has been found in Kildare in a tractor lamp box

The owner of a tractor garage near Two Mile House, who declined to be named, made the exciting discovery last Thursday, February 28.

“I was thinking we could call him Ferguson, after the Massey Ferguson,” he joked.

“I opened one of the boxes up and I saw what looked like a ball of wool.

“It was chestnut brown and I gave it a little squeeze and it stared to move.

“It started to open out and I said Jesus what’s this fella.

“I thought it might be a hamster but I saw the tail and it had hair growing on it like a lion.”

The lamp was imported from Romania and made its way through Germany on its journey to Ireland although it is unclear where the mouse came from. The owner also gets hay from England so it may have come from there.

He had heard about the previous discovery of a Dormouse between Naas and Newbridge and thought it may be the same breed.

He rang KFM where he got the number for the National Parks and Wildlife Service who put him in touch with the Kildare Animal Foundation.

Leinster Leader wildlife correspondent, Dan Donoher from the Animal Foundation explained how they sent the latest Dormouse’s hair away for DNA analysis.

“It’s amazing to find another one here in Kildare,” he said.

“They are going to do a study in the Spring to see if there is a population of them here in the county.

“There have been seven or eight reportings of them in the country but only two have been found alive and they are here,” he said.

The mice have not yet been introduced and are hibernating but they are due to wake up in April.

Dan is currently minding them at home in special hamster boxes and they are a source of wonder for his children Caitlin (4) and Emily (ten months).