They may look like cute furballs but these wild hamsters have a secret life as grave-robbers.

The rodents thrive in Viennese cemeteries and have been filmed for the first time gorging on fresh petals from wreaths and calorific wax from memorial candles. And they’re quite prepared to fight for the richest pickings. In Sunday night’s hit BBC series Seven Worlds One Planet we will see an almighty scrap between two males.

And even when he’s been beaten, the loser creeps back to eat a bit more delicious candle wax.

Sir David Attenborough
Vienna's hamsters
 

Narrator Sir David Attenborough explains that to survive winter the rodents need to fatten up.

A territorial dispute between neighbouring hamsters living in one of Vienna's cemeteries
For the most determined hamsters, it's readily available
 

As one male ventures towards a bouquet in the Austrian capital, he says: “The only problem is, these flowers are in someone else’s patch.

A European hamster
In mid-summer, Vienna’s hamsters are busy fattening up for winter

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“And graveside bouquets are worth fighting for.”

Producer Jonny Keeling said: “Wild hamsters live across all Europe and we filmed this incredible sequence in the middle of a city.”