Pebbles aims for a place in the hamster record books

Emily DennisThis tiny bundle of fur could wriggle into the record books as one of the world's smallest hamsters. Pebbles the Syrian hamster is a fraction of the size of her brothers and sisters but is remarkably thriving against all the odds.Emily Dennis

This tiny bundle of fur could wriggle into the record books as one of the world's smallest hamsters.

Pebbles the Syrian hamster is a fraction of the size of her brothers and sisters but is remarkably thriving against all the odds.

The minute hamster is nearly six-weeks-old but only measures about one-and-a-half-inches long and can fit comfortably inside an egg cup.

Pebbles was the runt of a litter of about 20 born on Christmas Day.

Owner Gillian Lowe, 51, assumed the frail creature would die but was delighted when feisty Pebbles survived along with her six normal-sized siblings.

Ms Lowe, from Geldeston, near Beccles, said: 'The mother will usually keep the strongest ones and eat the rest.

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'After a couple of weeks they started to get their hair and I saw this little one. I thought it would die for sure, but despite staying really small she has survived.

'She is now thriving and does everything the others do. The others are a normal size, as are the mum and dad, but she will not grow any more.'

It is Ms Lowe's first attempt at breeding hamsters. She says she does not plan to breed any more and will keep Pebbles who has endeared herself because of her battling spirit.

'She is full of mischief and runs about doing whatever she wants,' said Ms Lowe. 'She goes round on the wheel like a mad thing and is always the first one to the food trough.

'When the others are playing with her they seem to be more gentle because they know they cannot be rough. She walks over the others when they are asleep and is so funny to watch sometimes.'

Ms Lowe added that people are always surprised by how small Pebbles actually is.

'When I have told people that my hamster has had babies and I have this tiny one they all said it would probably die. But when they came and actually saw her they said 'My goodness that really is small.''

She is keen to know whether Pebbles could be a candidate for the world's smallest hamster and has made inquiries with Guinness World Records. 'I am interested to know. It would be amazing if she was,' she said.

Last night a Guinness World Records spokesman said the smallest breed of domestic hamster is the Roborovski hamster (Phodopus roborovskii) which typically grows to a length of 4.5cm or 1.52in. Roborovski hamsters originate from Mongolia and northern China.

The spokesman added: 'We don't currently have a record for the smallest hamster. We would welcome the owners of Pebbles to contact us so that we can look into their claim.'

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