History• Cousins to weasels, mink, and polecats• The domestic ferret (our ferrets!) are believed to be a descendant of the European Polecat – Wild animal in forest and meadows of Europe – Nocturnal and capable of climbing – Will burrow and chase rabbits out
Information• In the US for 300 years – Used for rodent control in the 1800’s• Used in scientific research since they catch the same colds as humans• Have helped to wire airplanes in hard to reach places (they love to enter anything that looks like a tunnel)• Wild ferret black footed ferret – One of the most endangered mammals in the US
Characteristics• Body – long, lean, slender and muscular• Fur – dense and very soft.• Legs – short legs.• Head – oval shaped and pointed snout.
Odor• Musky Odor (the stank)• Stronger in males• Originates in the anal glands (can be removed)• Non neutered males will leave drops of urine in areas where they have traveled (leaves strong musky sent marks)
Characteristics• Eyesight – poor• Primarily nocturnal in nature; don’t see well in bright light.• Highly developed sense of hearing, smell and touch• Learn their owner’s voice and can learn to do tricks!• Live 8-11 years