A shelter guinea pig stunned everyone last week after giving birth to an unusually large litter, surpassing the world record — now this busy mama is getting all the help she needs.
The SPCA of Wake County, in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced that a guinea pig named Sicily gave birth to a litter of pups — a far bigger litter than they expected.
On average, guinea pigs give birth to 2-4 pups per litter, though they sometimes go as high as 8. But Sicily gave birth to a whopping 10 babies!
For context, that’s one more than the current Guinness World Record holder, a guinea pig Queensland, Australia who birthed 9 pups in 1992.
Sadly, two of Sicily’s babies have passed away, as is often the case in large litters like this. But the eight remaining pups are doing well in their mom’s care.
“This not-so-little family is doing great, and Sicily has been a great new mom for her babies,” the SPCA wrote, adding that Sicily was “an absolute warrior for her labor” and was understandably “a little overwhelmed” by her unusually large litter.
Thankfully, Sicily has the support of their foster team and veterinarians to help her through the hectic early days of motherhood.
A spokesperson told We Love Animals that Sicily and all of her babies will be put up for adoption once they are weaned and grown enough to find homes.
The news comes a week after another North Carolina shelter animal, a Great Dane named Meadow, made headlines after giving birth to an unusually large litter of 15 puppies.
While we’re all familiar with shelter dogs and cats, guinea pigs also make up a large part of many shelters and face a homelessness crisis. Guinea pigs are small and inexpensive animals that can be bought at many pet stores; their often purchased without a second thought as “easy” household pets.
But guinea pigs require time and care like any other animal, and many people get rid of their guinea pigs when they become inconvenient. NYC shelters reported a huge upsurge in guinea pig surrenders in 2022, from people who bought their pets during the pandemic lockdowns.
The SPCA of Wake County told us that they take in “quite a lot” of guinea pigs and other small pets, but thankfully have had success in finding many of them new homes: they adopted out 238 rescued guinea pigs in 2022, and have adopted out 171 so far this year.
We’re sure Sicily has her hands quite full with this big litter and we’re wishing her the best! We hope she and all her babies find loving homes soon!
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