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Pregnant paws as hamster delivers a dozen 18.02.13

A BUNCRANA schoolgirl got more gifts than she bargained for when the pet hamster she got for her birthday delivered TWELVE babies the very next day.
Evelyne Sitoianu got pet 'Mita' for her eleventh birthday to replace her beloved first hamster who passed away.
Evelyne and her parents Dana and Larry noticed the cute pet was a little fat around the belly and were told she might be pregnant. But the family from Buncrana, Co Donegal, didn't expect the gold-and-white rodent to become supermum to a dozen.
Evelyne Sitoianu (11) from Buncrana pictured with her birthday present, pet hamster Mita, who delivered 12 babies the next day.
The Sitoianus who are originally from Bucharest in Romania, are now keeping Mita well nourished so she has plenty of milk to feed her big brood.
"It was very exciting. When we took her home Mita got very busy and began building a nest with lots of soft shavings in her cage," said animal lover Evelyne.
"We will let her care for her babies for four weeks and then we will take them back to the pet shop in Derry," she added. Hamsters are prolific breeders and can become pregnant from as young as four weeks old.
It was several days before Evelyne realised the size of the litter because the pups lie on top of one another and Mita keeps them hidden from view. Evelyne is also careful not to touch them for fear their mother might reject them.
At just over a week old, the pups are only an inch long. They are hairless and will not get their fur and markings for several more days.
"They are very small and if any of them fall out of the nest, Mita picks them up and puts them back in," beams Evelyne who also has a jack russell terrier called Mitu. Meanwhile, restaurant worker Dana (35) and carpenter Larry (36) are happy to let the supermum hamster do the parenting.
"She is doing fine. We might keep one or two of them but the rest will have to go back to the pet shop," said Dana.
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