Photographer Captures Photos of 'Wild Hamster' in Adorable Viral Video

An adorable video that showed a photographer taking photos of a wild hamster has gone viral.

The now-viral clip was posted in Reddit's "Aww" forum on Monday by u/kimboe313, who wrote: "Have you ever seen a wild hamster?" The post has since garnered more than 62,000 upvotes and over 800 comments from charmed Redditors, some of whom didn't know hamsters do, in fact, exist in the wild.

At the beginning of the 21-second clip, the photographer—believed to be wildlife photographer Julian Rad—holds out a small flower for the wild hamster that has just popped its head out from underground. After a moment of hesitation, the hamster leaves its burrow and reaches for the flower.

As the hamster munches down on the flower, Rad snaps pictures of the tiny creature, some of which are displayed at the end of the video. One photo taken head-on showed the hamster staring at the camera with the flower in its hands. Another image taken from the side showed the hamster holding the flower above its head.

Wild hamster
An adorable video that shows a photographer capturing photos of a wild hamster has gone viral. Many commenters were shocked to learn that hamsters can be found in the wild. Michel VIARD/istock

"Amazing photography skills (and a cute hamster)," commented u/Glammies.

"What! It's so pretty!" exclaimed u/Miserable_Fennel_492.

Redditor u/wakkykat added: "Stop it, that's too adorable!"

Some commenters were shocked to learn that hamsters exist outside of pet shops.

"Wild hamster? Wait, those animals didn't just spawn in pet shops?" asked u/usernot_found.

"There are wild hamsters? Somehow it never occurred to me [to be honest]," wrote u/Pure_Performance7673.

One top commenter, u/Telephalsion, said: "Until this moment I had not considered that hamsters might exist as wild animals. Gerbils and Guinea pigs I knew of. But hamsters, previously only thought of them as pets."

According to National Geographic Kids, wild hamsters are found throughout Europe and Asia. Though there are over 20 different species of hamsters—"which are related to voles, lemmings, and mice"—only five species are "common as pets." Those species are the Roborovski dwarf hamster, the Campbell's dwarf Russian hamster, the Syrian hamster, the dwarf winter white Russian and the Chinese hamster, said The Spruce Pets.

Sadly, the world's "rarest" hamster breed, the European hamster, was officially listed as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2020, said National Geographic.

"Without action, the hamster will go extinct within three decades," the magazine stated.

Newsweek reached out to u/kimboe313 for comment.

Of course, the adorable video shared by u/kimboe313 isn't the first from "Aww" to make headlines. Other viral "Aww" videos include one that showed a day-old otter fast asleep on its mother's belly, a video that showed a cat and a Dachshund playing together at the vet, and one of a "self-reliant" dog "booping" its own nose.