S'porean’s three hamsters become YouTube stars
S'porean man's three hamsters are in YouTube video which has got 1.5 million views
Meet sisters Enoki and Bunapi, and their friend Mushi.
They have become online stars, with their YouTube video that has scored more than 1.5 million views worldwide.
They were even featured on Right This Minute, an American TV show that features viral videos, and 9gag, a popular website which showcases funny photos and videos.
In case you are wondering, Enoki and Bunapi are a pair of female winter white hamsters, and Mushi is a male Syrian hamster.
Their journey to fame began on New Year's Eve last year after their Singaporean owner, Mr Jaieden Shen, 30, filmed Enoki being tucked into her tiny bed.
In the video, when he stops petting her, she wakes up and looks at him, waiting for him to continue before she goes back to sleep.
Mr Shen uploaded the video on New Year's Day and titled it "Tucking my hamster in her tiny bed but she'll only sleep after getting a massage!".
He did not expect the response that followed. The next morning, the video had garnered thousands of views.
Within the first week, it had received 100,000 views and by the end of the first month, the views had hit a million and went on to reach 1.5 million views.
Soon after, Mr Shen uploaded another video on his Facebook account, showing Enoki eating a piece of Chinese cabbage on her hammock. It garnered over a million views within days.
Mr Shen, who works at an non-governmental organisation, told The New Paper: "It was so unexpected. I was humbled but thrilled at the same time.
"I was like a Daddy who's super proud of his children's 'achievements'. I don't see them as pets, they are literally my 'fur babies'."
Since Jan 1, he has uploaded 29 videos on YouTube featuring his hamsters doing human-like things, such as lying on a hamster-sized hammock, sitting on a miniature toy toilet bowl and lying on a couch. The videos average about 80,000 views each.
Mr Jeffrey Lim, 37, general manager of digital agency Carbon Interactive, said that videos with emotional appeal such as humour, entertainment or good causes tend to gain the most views.
Videos that are uploaded from Wednesday to Friday and last about a minute also have a higher chance of going viral.
Said Mr Lim: "For this video, the high views are due to the cuteness of what the hamsters are doing. Just like cat videos, they relate to many people who love these animals."
Mr Shen also buys dollhouses and toy tree houses for his hamsters. He can spend up to two days buying, cleaning and setting up their homes.
He sometimes uses aquarium accessories - one in his hamster homes features a sunken submarine.
He said: "I would usually have a theme for my hamsters' playpen and get things revolving around an idea."
One house, for example, is like a dollhouse, with miniature furniture such as a microwave oven, hammock and bathtub.
Mr Shen also has a dog and cat but says that his hamsters are his favourite.
He said: "Their charming, curious and contented personalities can keep me entertained and captivated for hours."
Mr Shen, who has kept hamsters since he was 10, said he puts in the extra effort with his hamsters because of their short lifespan of about two years. Also, he feels encouraged by the positive comments on his videos.
Such as one netizen with the username Bradley Mark, who posted a comment on YouTube, saying: "This video made my normal life turn into hamster addiction."
Enoki is the younger of the two winter white hamsters but has a darker coat and a distinctive grey stripe along her back.
She loves being tucked into bed and uses her hammock the most.
Enoki is obsessed with collecting nesting materials to build a comfier room in her tree house and has mastered the art of climbing tall ladders.
Bunapi is a gym freak and loves running on her wheel more than Enoki.
She is bigger and is also greedier, more adventurous and more curious.
She was the first to master and play on her slide.
She is never too far away from her little sister, Enoki, and affectionately "kiss"-grooms her all the time.
Hamster care tips
1. As hamsters have poor eyesight, go for a large cage (instead of colourful, fancy ones) so that they have ample space to run around. For Syrian hamsters, an appropriate cage size is one that has 1,000 sq cm in usable floor space and is 19cm high. For dwarf hamsters, use a cage that has 750 sq cm in floor space and is 17cm high.
2. Bedding sold at licensed pet shops are generally appropriate but avoid those made of cotton as they can cause choking.
3. Ensure the hamster wheel is big enough - a wheel that is too small can give the hamster back strain and injuries.
4. Do not feed the hamster lettuce, tomatoes and citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons, or seeds from fresh fruit.
SOURCE: MR JAIEDEN SHEN, NATIONAL HAMSTER COUNCIL, ANIMAL CORNER, HAMSTER HIDEOUT
Mushi, a male Syrian hamster, loves listening to music.
He enjoys having Mr Shen sing, cuddle and massage him to sleep.
Mushi also likes napping in pockets and has his very own blanket to keep warm whenever he sleeps on Mr Shen's bed.