5 min read

Guy Finds A 'Dead' Mouse In The Desert — And Brings Him Back To Life

“Wakey, wakey, come on, mate.”

On a freezing morning in January, Daniel Bromley hopped in his car and drove to a construction site in the Great Victoria Desert, in Western Australia.

He was on a rescue mission — he just didn’t know what animal would need his help today.

“I went out to the desert to rescue any animals that fell into a long trench that they had dug to run a gas pipeline through the desert,” Bromley told The Dodo. “Each morning I would get up at 3 a.m. and walk 15 kilometers along the trench pulling out any animals that had fallen in before they were attacked by predators or died from exposure from the cold nights and hot days."

A spinifex hopping mouse in an Australian desert
YouTube/Daniel Bromley

Bromley was surveying the area when he spotted a small gray mouse, nearly frozen solid.

“I noticed a small spinifex hopping mouse laying in the bottom of the trench looking completely dead,” Bromley said.

While the hopping mouse is fairly common in Australia’s deserts, spotting one of these creatures out in the open was a rare sight, noted Bromley, who characterizes them as "very shy and cautious."

A hopping mouse in torpor
YouTube/Daniel Bromley

Bromley gently picked up the small mouse, hoping for the best, but the wild creature didn’t flinch. Instead, he lay limply in the palm of his rescuer's hands.

Bromley realized the mouse had gone into a state of torpor, a deep sleep that helps rodents conserve energy and stay warm in harsh climates. He was extremely vulnerable out in the open, so Bromley decided to help the unconscious mouse return to his burrow.

And he filmed the entire rescue operation:

Bromley brought the little mouse back to his car and held him in front of the car’s heater, gently coaxing him back to life. "Wakey, wakey, come on, mate,” Bromley whispered in the video.

Finally, the mouse began to stir — raising his tiny paws in the air and rubbing his face. “Oh ... hello! Good morning,” Bromley greeted the mouse.  

A hopping mouse wakes up from torpor in the desert
Youtube/Daniel Bromley

“It took about 20 minutes in front of the heater and then [he] spent the rest of the day in a warm car until he could be released at dusk as they are nocturnal,” Bromley said. 

Once the mouse was awake, Bromley placed him in a canvas bag to keep his stress levels low until he could be released back into the wild.

YouTube/Daniel Bromley

“Always release them exactly where you get them from so they know the area and they know where their burrows are,” Bromley noted in the video.

Once the sun set over the desert, Bromley returned the mouse to his home. The mouse emerged from the bag awake and alert and immediately oriented himself with his surroundings.

YouTube/Daniel Bromley

Bromley was glad he was there to help an animal in need — even if it had taken a little longer than he had anticipated.

Before hopping away, the mouse glanced back at his rescuer as if to say “thank you," clearly happy to be home.