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OK! Now I'm jealous!

  1. Dec 23, 2007 #1

    turbo

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    My wife and I have a wonderful little place with a nice garden spot, wild berries, and standing timber. My sister and her boyfriend are in a similar situation, and also live in a log house. The difference? They have been adopted by an ermine. The ermine gets in and out of the house by squeezing through a plumbing cut-out and as long as they don't get too close to it, it patrols the house looking for mice. They have not had any problems with mice this fall and winter, while many houses in this area are getting invaded. They leave out small bowls of meat and water - the ermine won't touch cat food, but seems to enjoy turkey and ham.

    To anyone who has not seen an ermine in the wild, they are fearless and intensely curious critters. While I was hunting one day last fall, one popped its head out of a little brush pile, and when it saw me, it kept popping its head out closer and closer to me, until eventually, it emerged from the pile maybe 8' from me and stood on its hind legs, rocking from side to side while looking me over. Ferrets do this when they are being cautious while trying to satisfy their curiosity.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

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    Cool!

    When I was in grad school, I was sitting in the living room/dining room/kitchen area of a two bedroom ground-floor apartment when I looked out to the patio and saw a ferret at the sliding glass door. I opened the door and he came wandering in. The little guy was pretty cool and friendly. However, within a day, I found the owner who came by to retrieve his little friend.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  4. Dec 23, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    All I ever got was possums in my house. They love cat food.
     
  5. Dec 23, 2007 #4
    Thanks for introducing me to yet another woodland creature from North America, turbo. :)

    An American cousin of the meerkat, you think?
     
  6. Dec 23, 2007 #5

    turbo

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    Domestic ferrets will do things communally, like meerkats, including sleeping in a big pile and engaging in play as a group.

    In contrast, wild members of the weasel family in North America (ermines, weasels, minks, martens, fishers, etc) are loners. The mother will raise her kits and teach them to hunt, then sends them off on their own. The males and females meet to mate, but that's about the extent of their involvement.

    Weasels sure are cute, though, especially when they've got their winter fur.
    http://www.saskschools.ca/~gregory/animals/weasel.html
     
  7. Dec 23, 2007 #6
  8. Dec 23, 2007 #7

    turbo

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    Pretty practical, actually. Most members of the weasel family are very good at tunneling, but why dig a new den when you can move into the place that a rabbit dug out? Weasels can move around a lot, and when they have depleted their prey in one area, they can easily set up housekeeping in another area by killing an animal in a new location and moving into its former home.
     
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