Journalist Sanna Drogset Børstad was given a story assignment by her editors at iTromso, a newspaper, and one that seemed pretty boringto say the least.
A man named Jostein Hansen, a local, emailed asking for help in tracking down the owner of a lost pet.
After dropping his child off at school one morning — Hansen had seen a “hamster” running across the road and decided to run out and catch her before she was hit.
He kept the little ball of fur in his glove box for safekeeping until writing an urgent message to the paper.
And while Børstad was not too thrilled about the whole ordeal, she looked into it anyway.
“I wasn’t very excited,” Børstad shared with The Dodo, “but decided to check it out.”
Børstad then found that Hansen’s daughter has a pet hamster at home — and knew just how important it was to help.
“If some kids have lost it, then it will be seen as a disaster,” Hansen told Børstad. “So I took the chance to try to catch it.”
And let’s just say — they were in a for a big surprise.
After they met up, both Hansen and Børstad traveled together with the rescued rodent to a local pet store which is affiliated with Animal Protection Norway.
But instead of learning that someone had been looking for a lost pet — they found out something else entirely different.
But the creature that Hansen had discovered was not actually a pet.
The store employee immediately recognized that the “hamster” in Hansen’s hand was actually a Norway lemming – a species of wild rodent.
But let’s be real — they do look a lot like domestic hamsters.
I would have been duped too!
The truth both shocked and embarrassed the now-kidnapper.
After realizing what he had done, Hansen knew that he had to let the small creature free.
And while Børstad looked ahead, she gave back the Norway lemming to its home.
Børstad’s lost pet story was one for the books and while Hansen was mistaken — I would venture to say they gets points for trying!
“He did the right thing,” the worker who identified the rodent’s true identity, Gøril, shard with The Dodo. “He saw an animal he thought needed help.”
But the truth literally set her free — and also let out a few good laughs, Børstad saying:
“We all laughed a lot when we figured out what it really was.”
According to BRITANNICA, “Lemmings live throughout temperate and polar regions of North America and Eurasia, inhabiting steppes and semideserts, treeless alpine or arctic tundra, sphagnum bogs, coniferous forests, and sagebrush-covered slopes, where they are solitary and generally intolerant of one another.”
While they are active year-round, they feed on most vegetation — which includes roots, buds, leaves, twigs, bark, seeds, grasses as well as mosses.
Lemmings also scamper along extensive runway systems and build nests in burrows or beneath rocks.
They breed from spring to fall and females are able to produce 13 young after a gestation period of about 20 to 30 days.
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