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Hand feeding orphaned wild baby rats

Today, someone found 2 orphaned wild baby rats whose mother was poisoned.

He called us and asked us if we wanted to care for them.  At first, we weren’t sure we could do it, but we decided that we couldn’t allow those little babies to die without even trying.

Here is a video of me feeding one of them with a syringe of milk.

They both were very weak and skinny, and were suffering from hypothermia, so I need to cradle them and keep them warm while I’m feeding them.  I’m still not sure that they will survive, but I’ll try my best!

Check back later to see their progress.

I have really sad news: both babies were gaining strength, but one of them was not as willing to accept milk by hand as the other.  It seemed to be more skittish and fearful.

I put them both overnight in a little cage with a reptile rock to keep them warm, and surrounded them with soft litter and covered the cage in an old shirt.  This morning, when I woke up, I discovered that the fearful one had died.  I think maybe it had moved too far away from the reptile rock, and didn’t stay warm enough.  Or, perhaps it hadn’t been eating enough milk.  Fortunately, the other one is still alive and eating so I hope I can save it.

It is always very sad when any living thing dies.  But I am especially sad about this little baby that I held in my hands and watched it take milk.  I’m going to miss it.