Clementine's Story

This year, we are sharing the story of each of our 2024 charity calendar stars every month so you can learn more about the hamster behind the photo. Clementine is our featured hamster for the month of May: she was one of 4 babies rescued with their mother by Hamster Info Ireland, who were dubbed the Fruity Family.

In May 2023, we stumbled across a litter of tiny Syrian hamsters and their mother on DoneDeal. These hamsters were visibly far below 8 weeks old, so we didn’t want the owner to privately rehome them. We offered to take the family into our foster network. We were told the hamsters were gone and thought the case was lost, but it transpired through a HII supporter who had also reached out about the little family that they were actually still available.

Plans were soon put in place to get them into our care. Once the hamsters were collected by our Chairperson Sophie, we learned that these precious babies were likely just 3-4 weeks old, based on their recorded weights and behaviours. There were 4 babies, who we named Kiwi, Banana, Raspberry, and Strawberry – who’s now known as Miss Clementine! Their friendly mama was named Tutti Frutti.

Upon health-checking mum and babies, we found that one of Clementine’s sisters, poor Banana, had a broken paw, and unfortunately, she was put to sleep due to the nature of her injuries. We were so grateful to our supporters for helping this family make their way to us as we can’t guarantee poor Banana would have gotten the vet care she needed without our intervention. 

One of our other trustees, Tina, had recently lost her Syrian Chip when this family was rescued. She decided to start a special new cage build for Clementine, a mammoth 300x100x75cm enclosure to suit the needs of a very high-energy young female Syrian. We believe this is the largest hamster enclosure currently in Ireland and the UK! Clementine was raised by Sophie before heading north of the border to her lovely new home once she was old enough. She uses every bit of the space provided to her, and most enjoys burrowing or foraging. Clementine is a sassy girl who likes to do things her own way – she’ll approach humans for treats or fresh food, but says a big “no thanks!” to more interaction than that. 

Thankfully, Tina is just happy to watch her exploring in her new home, ready to give her a little fuss as and when Clem’s mood permits. She’s now just over a year old and is a very healthy, content hamster.

If you’d like to support our rescue work, you can make a donation here.

Next month, learn about gorgeous Baden!

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