Page last updated at 21:00 GMT, Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:00 UK

On-the-run hamster pops back up

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland news website, Edinburgh and East reporter

Fudgie the hamster
Fudgie is now safe and well back in her own cage

A hamster who evaded an army of would-be rescuers, including a troop of firemen, while on the run for eight days has returned safe and sound.

Fudgie finally crawled from a hole in a kitchen floor into her cage at six-year-old Zoe Appleby's Dunbar home.

Zoe's mother, Angela Appleby, said it was a great relief because she was only looking after the hamster for a friend.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "When my husband found her, it was like Christmas morning for the children."

Computer programmer Derek Appleby discovered Fudgie had finally given up the chase and returned to her cage early on Thursday morning while he was getting ready for work.

I have been so upset and worried for this little pet and Zoe, who is a very sensitive little girl, has been heartbroken and really sobbing about it
Angela Appleby
Mrs Appleby, a nursery nurse, said: "When Derek checked her caged and found her, we were so relieved and immediately called Heather, who had loaned Fudgie to us, to let her know the good news.

"We had been told by the SSPCA to stop dropping food down the hole for Fudgie on Monday and so finally she had come up one of our make-shift ladders.

"It has been a nightmare because the children have been devastated and we have been up until the early hours each night listening for Fudgie because hamsters become more active at night.

"I have been so upset and worried for this little pet and Zoe, who is a very sensitive little girl, has been heartbroken and really sobbing about it."

She added: "We are over the moon that Fudgie has finally returned."

Zoe and Kim with Fudgie
Zoe, 6, and Kim, 3, welcome Fudgie back from her adventures
On Monday two fire crews used a chocolate-covered camera and a vacuum cleaner to try to locate missing Fudgie.

Fire crews spent five hours trying to recover the pet, which remained in its hole.

In the search for Fudgie, firefighters took the family cooker and gas pipes to pieces.

They also dropped a mini-camera coated with chocolate underneath the floorboards.

They then hoped to suck out the furry rodent using a vacuum cleaner with a sock over the nozzle.

Fudgie will be returned to her owners on Friday.


SEE ALSO
Fire crews hunt escaped hamster
22 Oct 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Runaway rodent collared by police
11 Jun 08 |  Gloucestershire
Pet hamsters banned in Vietnam
07 Mar 08 |  Asia-Pacific

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