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

By
Ben Hooper
A British museum said this mousetrap dating from the 1860s was on display when it caught a mouse that wandered into the exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Museum of English Rural Life
A British museum said this mousetrap dating from the 1860s was on display when it caught a mouse that wandered into the exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Museum of English Rural Life

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."

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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.

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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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