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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Escape, recapture, deportation.

It seemed obvious now that the mouse just didn't feel comfortable about squeezing into the Victor mouse trap. I suggested we try the harmless Howard gopher trap, developed by Howdy Howard at UC Davis for studies of pocket gopher ecology. I had a couple in the garage.

It was a triumphant moment the next morning when Richard called to announce that the mouse was in the trap. The squatter was an adult female deer mouse.

One manifestation of Richard's emergence as a field biologist was his wish to mark the mouse. This was in response to my warning about the homing abilities of mice. He wanted to mark its fur with a spot of fingernail polish.

I bagged the mouse without a hitch, gently pinned her, and held her by the nape while Richard dabbed a little nail polish between the silky ears. Then he passed me a half-gallon plastic jar, and I made the second transfer.

However my half turn to the jar's lid was a costly error. A moment later the lid came off and the jar dropped to the workbench. Miss Mousie made her break. She dashed across the bench, went over the edge like a trooper, and disappeared into the cabinets on the far end of the shop. An embarrassing moment.

"Now look what you've done", said Richard like Oliver Hardy.

"I think she might be in the family way, too," I said.

Richard responded, "Oh no, I hope not."

She stayed away the next night, but two nights later she was again in the trap awaiting deportation down the road.

1 comment:

Kartek said...

Just discovered your blog in my search for deer mice pictures. Enjoyed your posts. I've been battling deer mice in my basement. So far I've caught 11 and released them in the area. I'm sure I'll have much more before I'm done. I'm just hoping I haven't released them to close for them to come back.