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Museum-invading mouse ensnared by display's 155-year-old mousetrap

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Feb. 5, 2016 at 12:00 PM
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READING, England, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A British museum said the mousetrap that caught an invading rodent recently wasn't there for pest control, it was a 155-year-old piece on display.

The University of Reading's Museum of English Rural Life said workers arriving Thursday morning noticed an unusual email from an assistant curator: "There appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap ... which is not described as being there on the database."

The mouse apparently walked inside the Victorian-era mousetrap, which wasn't baited, and quickly found itself trapped inside.

The exact age of the Collin Pullinger & Son's Perpetual Mouse Trap is unknown, but the trap was patented in 1861.

Text printed on the trap declares that it will "last a lifetime," a claim that turned out to be an understatement.

"Isn't it amazing that a mousetrap that is 155 years old is still doing its job?" Guy Baxter, an archivist with the Museum of English Rural Life, told CBC Radio.

"I think he [the mouse] probably thought this was a nice place and unfortunately, he found the one thing that was more harmful to him than he to it," Baxter said.

The museum said it has not decided whether the mouse will be given a "dignified burial" or if it will become a permanent part of the exhibit.

"Let's pay tribute to the Victorians, and how wonderfully they managed to make things," Baxter said.

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