Zookeepers say the rodent must completely give up hope to get to sleep.Getty Images
Zookeepers at the Moscow Zoo have developed a special system to get their gerbils to hibernate for winter, according to news agency Interfax.
In order to get the rodents to hibernate, they starve them in a dark fridge until they are left completely without hope.
“Do you know how our gerbils in the zoo are put to sleep? Just in a normal fridge! In order to get them to hibernate, we have to put them in extreme conditions: we put them in there in the dark without any noise and where the temperature is only about 2-3 degrees; at which point they start to despair and fall into a state of hibernation. They need to sleep for their health, and the breeding period only happens after hibernation,” said a representative of the zoo in a press release.
The zookeepers emphasized that if the animals have access to food or materials that could be used to build a nest, they will not hibernate but instead hope for something more to come along.
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