After breaking the sad news to Tink's owner, the Stroud, Gloucestershire couple wrapped the tiny body in a paper towel roll and gave her a proper burial in the garden.
Except Tink wasn't dead. The next day, Tink managed to eat her way through the paper towel roll, dig up through a foot of dirt, climb a pipe and land in a recycling box, where she survived a frigid Easter huddled in a cardboard cat food box.
Of course, Tink wasn't actually dead. Experts told the Stroud News and Journal she had gone into hibernation, where the body temperature drops and makes the animal appear dead.
"I’m amazed by this hamster," said veteranarian John Auld, of the Aspinall Auld and Stevenson Animal Hospital in Abbeydale, Gloucester. "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."