[ source: www.dailyrecord.co.uk/...,
via www.nu.nl/... ( dutch site ) ]
Exclusive: Family's delight as fugitive hamster Fudgie is rescued
Oct 24 2008 By Amy Devine
FUDGIE the fugitive hamster was back from her bolthole last night.
The runaway rodent who defied a rescue team of eight firefighters came out of her own accord after nine days under the kitchen floor.
The jubilant Appleby family, of Dunbar, East Lothian, are planning a welcome home celebration.
And Fudgie has thousands of new fans around the world after her story reached America, India, South Africa and even Kazakhstan.
Dad of two Derek Appleby walked into the kitchen at 6.15am yesterday to find Fudgie running around a cage that animal experts had put out to catch her.
Mum Angela woke daughter Zoe, six, who is looking after the hamster for a pal, and little sister Kim, three, with the good news.
"It was like Christmas morning," Angela told the Record.
"Zoe sat in her pyjamas in front of Fudgie's cage and watched her for ages. She said, 'I love you Fudgie.' "She went to school with cuttings from the Record. She was very excited about telling her friend that Fudgie's home."
We told on Tuesday how the fire brigade spent five hours trying to coax Fudgie out of her hiding place. They took apart the cooker and dismantled gas pipes to get to the hole she escaped through, then pushed a mini-camera coated with chocolate under the floor to try to locate her.
The fire crews even tried to suck Fudgie to safety using a vacuum cleaner with a sock over the nozzle. But by then, she had been under the floor for six days and seemed quite happy where she was.
Even experts from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals couldn't entice the naughty hamster to give herself up.
They told the Applebys they could help persuade Fudgie to come out if they stopped leaving food and water in the hole for her.
And it didn't take long for the tough love tactics to pay off.
Nursery nurse Angela said: "When we found Fudgie this morning, she was very active, chewing and rattling the bars of her cage and sniffing around for food.
"It seems our plan worked and hunger brought her home.
"We'll be celebrating her return and there will be lots of chocolate drops for Fudgie."
Mairi Stewart of the SSPCA was thrilled to see a happy ending to the story.
She said: "When I arrived at the house, the fire brigade had been there for quite a few hours and hadn't managed to rescue Fudgie.
"I decided a more softly-softly approach might work so I blocked off all of the exits except one and set a humane small animal trap, which catches the animal once it steps on the door.
"It had food, water and bedding, everything Fudgie would want but didn't have.
"If she hadn't have come out by the weekend, I'd have started to worry but I was confident she'd be out before then and I'm delighted she is.
"Fudgie certainly had a real adventure but now she's safe and that's wonderful.
"I'd advise all small animal owners to be as careful as possible. They really can get into the tiniest holes."
Fudgie was only supposed to stay with the Applebys for the school holidays. But they've been through so much together that she might end up living with them permanently.
Angela said: "Fudgie's owners will come and see us, and if they feel they would like to take her home they are more than welcome to.
"We were given Fudgie as a trial to see if Zoe would like a hamster. We never dreamed we'd have a problem like this.
"But I think Zoe would love to keep her and after everything that's happened it would be nice. We'll have to see."
" We are sooo glad that Lucy's escapes haven't come to this !
And we DO celibrate Fudgies return !!! " - Mathijs
When I told Lucy, her chilled reaction:
" You KNOW I WOULDN'T EVER try to do that ... " - Lucy
Thank you for the comforting words, dear Lucy ...
Time will tell ...
We NEVER thought of callin' in the fire-brigade on your escape Lucy!
Let's hope this will NEVER come this far !