Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society nurtures young deer mouse

Deer mouse

DAINTY  DELIGHT: This tiny deer mouse was found in the busy parking lot at Lang Bay Store. Fearing for its life, a thoughtful shopper quickly picked it up and brought it to Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS).

Naked, just beginning to get its fur, with its eyes still closed, the deer mouse was placed in a cage with a heating pad and blanket beneath, and a light blanket on top. Besides curling tightly into a ball inside a tiny tightly crocheted nest, it would also quickly suck down a syringe of baby formula every hour.

Once its eyes were open, after eating, it would sit up on its haunches and with incredibly long fingers and daintily wash its face. It doubled in size in four days, soon weighing 5.2 grams, but was still smaller than an adult hummingbird (an adult deer mouse weighs between 10 and 24 grams). Its ears unpinned and stood up and it started to come out of its nest.

Having moved into a small aquarium with shavings and a heating pad because warmth continued to be a concern, it started eating seeds and native grasses and was soon ready for release, far away from cars and cats.

Deer mice are accomplished climbers, jumpers and runners, and their common name of “deer mouse” (coined in 1833) is in reference to this agility. They are able to gain access to a home by climbing a tree and using a branch as a bridge, or by climbing up a downspout and gaining access to a roofline.

They gather food and store it.