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People Are Discovering Hamsters Eat Their Babies And, Honestly, It's A Mess

Warning: This post contains stories about pet hamsters eating their young.

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Earlier this week Twitter user Felicity (@fntsygrl) sent out a tweet about her pet hamster who had given birth to a dozen or so tiny babies.

The tweet went massively viral, with over 13,000 retweets and almost 50,000 likes. Felicity, it turned out, had only had her hamster for a week. She hadn't even named it yet and had no clue the hamster was pregnant.

Her series of tweets about the new hamster family's living arrangements also went viral.

update: mom and babies have been moved to bigger/safer cage, all babies are still alive and well!!

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On top of bursting cuteness onto the timelines of thousands of Twitter users, Felicity's tweets also started a discussion about something sinister: hamster cannibalism.

my hamster once ate all her babies n proceed to kill the father (which was also her brother) https://t.co/faPdSbYZGj

It's all very Shakespearian.

See, hamsters are one of many animal species that have been known to eat their young. Bears do it too, and they're kinda like big, deadly hamsters.

giphy.com

A study from earlier this year linked the phenomenon to a "collapsing" habitat, but there's also evidence linking it to stress, fear and inadequate sustenance.

Suddenly, people all over the world were sharing their own shocking stories about hamsters eating their young. Honestly, it was a mess.

@tom_harlock my hamster had 5 babies and one of them ate the rest, don't trigger me like this

DO NOT TOUCH THE BABIES OR THE MOMMA HAMSTER WILL EAT THEMMM I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THERE WAS BLOOD EVERYWHERE https://t.co/D8bagNyemR

when i was 9 my hamster had babies and ate them so we gave the hamster back to the pet store https://t.co/XbgZDsIRgX

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I had a hamster back in 7th grade & them lil shit ate her babies. Till this day I'm confused

@SoDamnTrue Ive had a hamster that ate all its babies and a hamster that ate its dad. Never again will I get a hamster.

@kaylee_blaise @YXXNGTRIBE @FreddyAmazin 💀💀💀💀💀💀💀💀 this happened to my friend one hamster ate the other looking like a snack😭

@fntsygrl If she gets stressed out or feels scared for her babies she'll turn on them and eat them.

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And there was also just a lot of general confusion about hamster babies and what they look like.

When I was little, my hamster had babies but I thought her organs just all fell out.

Ion know about yall but this is the first time I've seen hamster babies https://t.co/Ip1U8mlpNh

@xavierrrh Fr made me think they don't reproduce and there's only a certain once they die they go extinct, you do l… https://t.co/CFavMQ2m5O

Rt if this is the first time you ever see hamster babies https://t.co/n2Ss7UevWO

For what it's worth, Felicity's hamsters seem to be doing well:

update on the babies!! they've grown & are starting to show pigment. they're all there just hidden under each other… https://t.co/XDOenbdYhW

So everyone please just give her a break.

can y'all stop replying to me assuming idk how to care for hamsters i've had them before and am keeping in contact w a breeder for questions

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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