It seems there are a lot of people out there whose experience raising hamsters has been less than ideal
Things went from zero to 100 over the weekend when Twitter user @fntsygrl decided to share an adorable picture of her pet hamster just after she’d given birth. And who could blame her? The picture is the stuff of tiny, pint-sized animal lover fantasies. Who cares if they look like a gaggle of pencil erasers? She just gave birth to “10-12” children, dammit — this is cause for celebration.
Felicity posted the picture on Twitter of proud mama hamster next to her young. And it was a sweet moment – for about a minute. Then shit got real quick when her followers started posting some little known facts about the animal kingdom: hamster cannibalism.
Apparently mother hamsters have been known to eat their young so good luck ever sleeping again. Dammit, Felicity was just trying to show us some cute baby animals. Who decides to turn a newborn photo shoot into the stuff of nightmares? Why couldn’t people just say “Awwwww, cute” and move on? Because it’s the internet, that’s why.
You really need to watch them! Ive had a hamster give birth n all was great for 2 weeks and then she ate them Dont be shocked if it happens— alexandra marie (@hypedmoon) May 27, 2017
BE CAREFUL!! Watch then closely. I recommend counting them. Because she could eat them. But DONT touch them bc they'll acquire ur scent— isa🌻 (@isa_marie00) May 27, 2017
HAMSTERS EAT THEIR BABIES ALL THE TIME ITS NOT MY FAULT YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH— tom (@tom_harlock) May 28, 2017
my hamster had 5 babies and one of them ate the rest, don't trigger me like this— mona 🌹 (@signofniaII) May 28, 2017
my hamster once ate all her babies n proceed to kill the father (which was also her brother) https://t.co/faPdSbYZGj
— ❁ (@BeatrizBarce) May 29, 2017
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Apparently, it’s totally normal for hamsters to eat their young. According to Reference.com, “Especially in first-time mothers, stress and fear associated with rearing babies can be too much to handle.” Look we get it, mama. Raising kids is hard. But there has to be a better way.
Unless you are this person, who stepped in to defend the homicidal hamster.
omg people keep saying "they kill their babies" n they make it seem so cruel, they do it bc they cant take care of them :0— bella (@comcastkills) May 27, 2017
HELLO?!? You don’t get to eat kids you can’t take care of. That’s not how it works, ma’am.
So how can hamster owners help prevent this tragedy from happening? “Give her and her litter plenty of alone time. Spending too much time around the cage, acting excited or taking photos can upset the mother to the point of killing her children,” Reference.com said. Also, hands off her babies. A mama hamster’s relationship with her young relies almost entirely on scent. If you touch them, it alters their smell and can confuse the mother so she doesn’t recognize the babies as her own.
Also, make sure you are feeding the hamsters ample food and water, because if the mother believes that their supplies aren’t enough to sustain the group, she’ll start sacrificing some of her litter. Who knew hamster ownership could be this complex?
It sounds like there is, at least so far, a happy ending for Felicity’s hamsters.
update: mom and babies have been moved to bigger/safer cage, all babies are still alive and well!!— felicity (@fntsygrl) May 28, 2017
The world is now heavily invested in these babies, Felicity. Let’s just leave it at this, shall we? The mom is happy, the babies are alive and no one is eating anyone. End of story.