Hamster Owners Worry They May Have Accidentally Buried Hibernating Hamsters Alive After Viral Video

Photo: marinakarpenko / Shutterstock / TikTok
Hamster

Pet hamsters aren't known to live long lives but a recent video has many former hamster owners concerned they may have underestimated their pet's life expectancy.

In a viral TikTok video, a hamster owner showed her hamsters lying completely still and she was asking people whether they seem dead or are just hibernating. She also mentioned that she has put her two hamsters on heat pads but they seem cold.

This caused other pet owners to wonder if they buried hibernating hamsters.

There has been an uproar in comments from other hamster owners questioning ‘Do hamsters even hibernate?’ if so there is a chance they may have buried their hamsters alive. 

   

   

Michelle_20028 commented, “Did I just bury my two hibernating hamsters please tell me this is a joke.” 

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charlie Patterson commented, “DID I BURY MY HIBERNATING HAMSTER I THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD IM GONNA CRY OMGG”

The shock among other hamster owners is quite understandable as finding out that you could have accidentally buried your pet alive isn’t the best feeling. Fortunately some commenters had advice to ensure the hamsters in the video don't meet the same fate.

One user wrote, “Check if they’re cold and stiff yet, if not, then they’re alive”

“Also hamsters cannot get cold. The colder they are the closer to hibernation to protect themselves (they can die in hibernation.)” said another.

Follow up videos suggest these hamsters sadly did die but that hasn't stopped other pet owners to question their hamster's deaths. 

This isn't the first time hamster owners had this realization.

In 2017, Lisa Goodman posted a picture of her pet hamster on Facebook and wrote that she has experienced a similar experience. 

“This CAN and DOES happen to hamsters. I wrote this from my own personal experience. Fudge is doing well, we are keeping an extra close eye on him as he seems to be more susceptible to this than most hamsters.”   

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She also wrote that hamsters typically hibernate during the winter due to the low temperatures.

“Pet hamsters can go into hibernation mode if they get too cold. This can last a few days or even a week,” she added.

She also mentioned things hamster owners can do to help their pets, “Whilst in hibernation mode if you stroke or try to move your hamster, they will show small signs of life. Keep them warm, place a hot water bottle under their bedding, to try and bring them back slowly.”

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However, there are also many users refusing to believe that hamsters hibernate and it is highly likely that the hamster in the video is dead. 

tiffanybaber511 commented, "Hamsters do not hibernate. They go into a state of torpor if the environment isn’t right which basically means their internal organs are shutting down".

Many others also commented about hamsters going through torpor rather than hibernation.

This YouTuber explains how hamsters go through torpor. It happens to them so they can survive harsh environments such low temperatures and food shortage.

However, this is more common in the wild so your house would need to have really low temperatures for your pet hamster to go through torpor. 

As it is similar to hibernation, it can easily be confused for hibernation. She also explained that torpor is quite dangerous for hamsters and suggested things to do to bring them out of the state.

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer and an Editorial Intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.