Did you know that in northeastern France, there are wild hamsters that are considered critically endangered? I had no idea. I also had no idea that because they’re unable to get the range of food sources that they’re used to, they’re turning to crops that are planted in their habitats. And no, France isn’t just known for its hamsters, it’s also known for that time police asked that woman to remove her burkini.
Usually, wild hamsters have a varied diet of things such as mealworms, but they like to balance it out a bit with wheat and clover so they’re getting all the vitamins they need. However, lately all they have access to is corn. It’s not even the good kind of corn (which is popcorn), it’s just the standard one in the husk.
Anyway, it’s because of this access to corn that the hamsters are suffering from malnutrition and it was found in a recent study that female hamsters are more likely to eat their babies if they only eat corn. What was found in the study is that the hamsters which were only fed corn put their babies into their piles of corn before eating them, and that the babies were still alive while this was happening.
What on earth would cause hamsters to eat their own offspring? Researchers are left to believe that the blame is on industrially grown crops of corn. Because of the crops, the hamsters are missing out on a crucial vitamin known as B3 or niacin.
Although this might not sound like anything major, it is obvious that hamsters cannot get the vitamins that they’re missing out on in their diets from supplements like we can. Therefore, work must be done in the habitat of the hamster in order to get the nutrients they need to stop being crazy cannibals who eat their own children.
Gerard Baumgart, who is an expert on the European hamster and President of the Research Centre for Environmental Protection in Alsace said:
“Our hamster habitat is collapsing.
“Monoculture in agriculture is really bad for biodiversity and we need to take concrete action.”
Poor little hamsters. They’re only eating their young because they’re not getting enough vitamins. Fix their habitat, they’ll be able to get the vitamins they need as a species and they’ll stop eating their children, it’s really that simple.