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Answered 2008-10-17 03:57:39

As a Former Zookeeper, I don't think a mouse in a trap would chew his leg off to escape. I used to work in an office that had sticky mouse traps. We would always find the mice bloody, damaged and alive =0(. The mouse would get stuck and struggle and as he pulled his head,leg or feet off from the sticky surface, the fur and skin would tear off and the mouse would bleed, but that was as far as the mouse got to self mutilation. Even when the Employees (viewed as Potential Predators to the mouse)approached, lifted or touched the stuck mouse, the mouse never attempted to bite his own limbs off. I do believe However, that after a set amount of time, starvation, desperation and insanity will kick in and the mouse may choose biting his limb off over remaining trapped (Cost Benefit analysis). Also, 1)circumstance plays a role- Is the mouse trapped with its baby mouse- does it have offspring waiting for it in the other room? Altruism- (self sacrifice for the welfare of relatives and those affecting the success of your genes being passed on) plays a huge role in the decision making of animals. 2)Intelligence is a key factor in animals decision making as well, and I do believe that animals with higher cognitive abilities such as ravens, dolphins, or even octopi, may opt for limb chewing (much sooner than the mouse)over being trapped. However, myself a professor of Biology, trapped a mouse tonight. When I returned home, the trap was gone and I fully expected to find a mouse somewhere in the house where it had dragged the trap. Instead, I found the trap with a tiny paw, stuck inside. Contrary to the zookeepers answer, this mouse did chew off its paw to escape.


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