What animal is this?

Asked July 10, 2019, 12:37 PM EDT

My daughter found this little guy on our gravel driveway a few days ago. We live out in the country. Can you identify this animal? She is feeding it and it’s doing well. She would like to know when and where it can be released.

Polk County Oregon

1 Response

You have a mouse there - I'd rather that we not disturb it further to get measurements or poking for cheek pouches to help ID it to species. However, our most common and widely distributed mouse species is the deer mouse, so odds are good for it being a deer mouse.
I'm attaching a link to Oregon's list of licensed wildlife rehab operators and recommend consulting with one of them about whether to release now or whether the animal is too young and possibly too human-scented for immediate release. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/rehabilitation/docs/wildlife_rehabilitators.pdf
I notice that the animal is lying in a bare hand. Please be aware that wild mammals can transmit a range of zoonotic conditions ranging from bites by their parasites to direct exposures from physical, external contacts with body fluids/excreta and even from inhaled products. For the animal's sake, minimize exposure - For human health, only contact the animal while wearing gloves and be studious in washing skin thoroughly and disinfecting. Besides allergic reactions, many zoonotic conditions start with a fever and general malaise -- those symptoms can sometimes occur 45 days after exposure. I say this not to raise fear, but to make sure you document the dates on which you/your daughter were exposed to this animal so that IF (and it's hopefully a very unlikely if) a fever or any other symptoms arise you will know to tell the treating physician about the exposure -- That knowledge can be very critical to accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment.