On keeping wild animals as pets
I don’t kill mammals or birds, even though not doing so can be a pain. Actually, I kill them on accident occasionally. About a year ago, my house was overrun with white-footed mice. I caught nine of them and tried to keep them as pets, but lacked adequate tank space. After a couple died, I moved them from a ten-gallon tank to a twenty and accidentally killed another when I unknowingly put a shrew in with them. I’ve tried to develop better procedures, but still screw up. For instance, Talon was apparently a short-tailed shrew, not a vole.I lacked good resources for IDing her. I fed her a diet designed for a vole. I gave her rodent chow, which was mostly a mix of greens and grain and supplemented with table scraps like bits of bread, fruit and root vegetables. She may have been malnourished. Shrews are insectivores. If I catch another, they’re getting cat food. She may also have been old. Shrews don’t live much longer than voles. Oddly, everything I’ve read says they are terrible pets and difficult to keep alive more than a few days. I had her for six months and she got to be semi-tame. She’d take food from my hands and come out and wait for food when I opened the cage. She never held still for pictures when alive so they tended to turn out like this. I’m including a post-mortem picture to confirm ID below the fold. Trigger-warning: dead animal.
I’m pretty sure that’s a northern short-tailed shrew, though I’ve still gotten conflicting assessments. Can anyone confirm/deny?
I still have four white mice. They’re easy to take care of. I just keep their water bottle full, give them each a piece of rodent food every day, replace their exercise wheel when they chew it too much and trap them and hose out their tank every few weeks. They aren’t nearly as tame, though, even though I’ve had them a lot longer. The best I can do is hold hope to watch them running around if I make no sudden movements. At least they are amusing. My cat, Bindle, likes them, too.
At least, I’m pretty sure these are white-footed mice. Can anyone confirm this?