A rare mouse, which was discovered in Kildare two weeks ago, is proving hugely popular with the public.
The hazel dormouse was found by a woman who was cleaning out a tree house in her garden the Newbridge area. She thought it was a small squirrel and rang the Kildare Animal Foundation’s wildlife unit. They brought the mouse to their centre in Kildare town.
Dan Donoher of the Kildare Animal Foundation, and Leinster Leader wildlife correspondent, said the mouse, who has yet to be named, was doing well.
“He has been asleep most of the time but he woke up for the television cameras yesterday,” he said.
“We’ve had him for about two weeks now and when we put it up on facebook yesterday, we never thought we would get a reaction like this.”
Dan, who spent the day doing interviews on radio and talking to the press, has been blown away by the response.
He said wildlife experts are going to investigate to see if there is a breeding population in Kildare.
The little creature, who weighs just 4 grams, is expected to go into full hibernation soon. Because he is not a native animal, the foundation can’t release him back in to the wild. The staff have him on a special diet which mainly centres on hazel nuts.
Dormice are small rodents, with body lengths between six and nine centimetres and weighs between 15g and 35g and can spend up to three quarters of their life asleep. Members of the public won’t be allowed to see him at the Foundation as he is a wild animal and is not used to contact with the public.