SINGAPORE - A night-time walk turned into a mouse hunt for housewife Karen Teng on Tuesday night (Sept 12), when she spotted over 50 white mice on a grass patch.
Madam Teng, 47, was with her husband walking her two dogs along Pasir Ris Drive 4 when a moving white mass caught her eye. Moving closer, she realised that the mass was made up of many little rodents.
"We were alarmed because they were all over the place," she said.
A trail of bread slices had also been placed at the same spot, leading to a forested area, which Madam Teng thinks was meant to lure the mice further away from the pavement.
She estimated that the white mice, which had light brown patches, were about 6cm-long, minus the tails.
Madam Teng went home for a pair of gloves and a box, and then returned to the location to gather the scurrying mice, with the help of a neighbour and two passers-by. They managed to catch 54.
"I thought it would be cruel to leave them alone," she said.
The mice have been handed over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), where they are undergoing health checks. They will be put up for adoption if healthy, said an SPCA spokesman.
"We suspect it is a case of pet abandonment because these are not stray mice but mice that are commonly used in laboratories, which are very tame and can be kept as pets. And there were so many of them in one place," she said.
The chances of such domesticated animals surviving in the wild are slim, she added.
The spokesman added that a passerby saw two men acting suspiciously in the area just before the mice were found.
The SPCA sent an inspector to the site on Wednesday to interview people in the vicinity who could be eye-witnesses. It will also be appealing for information through social media and posters.
Cases of mice being dumped are rare. Most of abandoned pets picked up by the SPCA are dogs, cats and rabbits.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said it is investigating the incident.
For pet abandonment, first-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000, or jailed for a year, or both.