A friendly passer-by was shocked to discover that the hamster he thought he had rescued was actually a species he had never heard of.
Jostein Hansen, who hails from Norway, couldn’t resist intervening when he saw the little ball of fur scampering across the snowy road. He decided to crash it, hoping to avoid a traffic deadlock.
The local’s daughter had a hamster of her own, so the father knew how important it was to help. He wanted to find the owner of the missing hamster.
“If some kids lost it, it’s considered a disaster,” Hansen told a local reporter. “So I jumped at the chance to try and catch it.”
Hansen and journalist Sanna Drogset Børstad decided to travel together to a pet shop affiliated with Animal Protection Norway.
After explaining the situation to the staff and introducing the supposed hamster, the two were told that the animal was not a pet at all.
A pet shop employee identified the animal as a Norwegian lemming. The species of wild rodent can easily be confused with a domesticated hamster.
When Hansen realized he had misidentified himself, he knew he had to return the wild animal to its natural habitat.
The journalist who covered the story alongside Hansen admitted that the whole mystery turned out to be quite comical.
“We all laughed a lot when we found out what it really was,” remarked Drogset Børstad.
Although things didn’t go as planned, Hansen and the Lemming had an incredible journey.
“He did the right thing,” Gøril, the worker who identified the rodent’s true identity, told The Dodo. “He saw an animal that he thought needed help.”
Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first time a passerby has rescued an animal off the street, which turned out to be something he wasn’t expecting.
A Tennessee woman thought she was rescuing a furry cat, but later found out the animal was a wild bobcat.
The bobcat was also returned to where it was found.
At times, the uncanny similarities between wild and domesticated animals have led people to believe they are saving something that doesn’t need saving at all.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7539410/man-found-hamster-turned-lemming/ I found a “pet” alone on the street – I was desperately trying to track down owners when I found out what it really was