IT’S a happy ending for the orphaned baby gerbils hand-reared by an animal-loving couple from Wyberton.
Back in November, The Standard reported on the extraordinary efforts of Christine and Richard Vernon, who took it upon themselves to hand-feed the new-born rodents after their mum was eaten by the family cat.
Devastated, Christine vowed to give them a chance at life and set her alarm to wake through the night to feed the gerbils with a special syringe. She even helped them go to toilet with a cotton bud.
“Against all the odds, these little miracles have survived,” said Richard. “They are now 12 weeks old and feeding themselves. It’s very satisfying to see them finally playing together in their home.”
Their dedication to hand-rearing the brood meant they even took them out in a special carrier cage each time they left the house.
“I once fed them in the High Street at Holbeach, sitting in the boot of the car,” Richard said. “I got some strange looks at the time, but a lot of nice comments when people saw what I was doing.”
Unfortunately one of the five male babies died at four-weeks-old, leaving them with the four (pictured).
Richard added: “It was sad we lost one, but it was all worth it in the end to see the other four playing and feeding in their cage, which they share with their uncle, Lucky.”
l Do you have any unusual animal stories? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.