We are thrilled to share with you that the first Pacific pocket mouse mating between Female #13 of Santa Margarita and Male #25 of South San Mateo resulted in pregnancy (see previous post, Pocket Mice Breed in Captivity for First Time).
Early signs included baring of the nipples and an elongated abdomen. Weight gain came toward the end. In the last week, she gained a total of 0.1 ounces (3 grams), nearly half of her starting body weight of 0.2 ounces (6.8 grams).
The very first Pacific pocket mouse pup born at our facility was born on Tuesday, June 11! Right away, the female covered her nest jar and tube entrance with sand, creating a dark and warm environment for her pup. The pup is pink and, while tiny, a healthy size for a Pacific pocket mouse. Just three days after it was born, the pup was trying to walk!
I can’t give you a weight yet as we are trying to keep disturbance at a minimum. We want to make sure that Female #13 decides that the captive environment is safe and chooses to nurse her pup.
We’ll be posting pictures as the pup develops.
Debra Shier, Ph.D., is the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Brown Endowed Scientist.