Resurrected hamster was hibernating

April 10, 2013 at 3:25 PM
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PAINSWICK, England, April 10 (UPI) -- A veterinarian said a British hamster reported to have come back from the dead on Easter was only hibernating.

Lisa Kilbourne-Smith and boyfriend James Davis, of Painswick, England, were taking care of Tink the hamster while friends Nicki Gamble and Jamie Wynn were out of town and they discovered the day before Easter that the animal was not moving, The Sun reported Wednesday.

However, Kilbourne-Smith's father, Les, who lives next door, discovered the next morning the hamster had eaten her way out of her paper casket, dug out of her shallow grave and took shelter in a nearby recycling box to protect herself from freezing temperatures.

Veterinarian John Auld said the hamster's Easter resurrection can be attributed to the animal going into a hibernation state, which is often mistaken for death among hamster owners.

"This isn't the first instance of a hamster coming back from the dead that I've come across," Auld said. "If its body temperature drops below a certain level the animal can go into hibernation. It has been known for owners to mistakenly believe that their pets have died when in fact they are only sleeping. However, I'm amazed by this hamster. The animal's body temperature would have had to have risen to rouse it from hibernation. With the temperatures we experienced over Easter, one would think that the ground would have been far too cold for it to come out of its dormant state."

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