By Katy Gill
This adorable little mouse turned out to be an incredibly rare dwarf elephant shrew, but is it blue or brown?
Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen’s animal rescue, they expected a little pink hairless mouse.
Instead they got a mysterious tiny shrew that appears blue in some lights and brown in others.
It also had a very distinctive nose – when the rescue saw it they realised that they were looking after a rare little beast.
Staff at the Cheetah Experience named the shrew Charlie and at first tried to feed him crickets, but even the smallest crickets they could find were still over half the size of the mini-beast and he was afraid of them.
A spokesperson for Cheetah Experience said: “Riana, the owner, got a call about a baby mouse that was brought in by a local Bloemfontein resident’s cat.
“The lady was able to safely retrieve the baby mouse unharmed, and started to feed him milk through a syringe and after doing some research she gave us a call to ask for help.
“Charlie was brought in to us in a cardboard box, when we opened the box to take a look he was nestled in and under some toilet roll.
“We pulled it gently to the side and found the smallest and strangest looking mouse we have ever seen.
“He wasn’t pink like we expected, he was fully furry, with beady little eyes. The strangest thing however was his nose – he had what looked to be a trunk!
“It was instantly obvious that Charlie was not a mouse, but in fact a shrew of some sort, an elephant shrew.
“Elephant shrews are not commonly found in this area, and are thought to be quite rare and endangered. It appeared that he was probably a least dwarf shrew.
“After a few days we introduced meal worms to his diet, although he had never seen one before he grabbed it and began chomping on it.”