A pet hamster has startled its owners by performing an Easter miracle and rising from the grave. Tink was found “dead” on the floor of her cage, wrapped in kitchen paper and buried a foot deep in a flower bed.
More than 24 hours later she was found sheltering in a cardboard box in a recycling bin having burrowed her way to freedom.
Tink was being looked after by friends when she was found lifeless and unresponsive on the floor of her cage.
Lisa Kilbourne-Smith and her boyfriend James Davis held a makeshift funeral and then had the unenviable job of calling her owners Nicki Gamble and Jamie Wynn to break the news.
The next day happened to be Good Friday and Mr Davis had to call back to tell them that their hamster had been ‘resurrected’. A vet has told them that the pet probably went into hibernation as temperatures fell.
Having been wrapped in a quilted paper shroud and placed in the ground she warmed up and gnawed her way out.
She was found by Lisa’s father Les Kilbourne-Smith the following afternoon when he was flattening boxes for recycling. He said: “Suddenly a little face popped out of one of them. I brought the box into the house and said to Jim, ‘Have you lost one of your pets?’
“That was when we discovered that it was Tink and she most definitely wasn’t dead. We’ve nicknamed her Jesus because it was Easter when she came back from the dead.”
Miss Kilbourne-Smith, 23, a care home worker from Gloucester, said: “We were looking after her for Nicki and Jamie while they moved house. James came home from work and found her lying in the middle of her cage cold and lifeless and he thought she was dead.
“We wrapped her up in a load of kitchen towel and buried her about a foot deep in the back garden so that the cat couldn’t dig her back up again.”
James, 24, a binman, said: “I came home and thought she was dead because she’s two-and-a-half years old, which is quite old for a hamster.
“When Les found her safe and well in the recycling, I had the embarrassing job of ringing Jamie to tell him ‘She’s not dead, she crawled out of her grave last night.’”
Vet John Auld said: “This isn’t the first instance of a hamster coming back from the dead that I’ve come across. If its body temperature drops below a certain level the animal can go into hibernation.
“It has been known for owners to mistakenly believe that their pets have died when in fact they are only sleeping.
“However, I’m amazed by this hamster. 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.”