Here are a few ferret facts that prove that these little ones have a lot going on. Well, more than meets the eye at least!
Ferrets Have Been Around For A Long Time
We began domesticating ferrets approximately two and half centuries ago. For many years, ferrets were used for hunting rabbits and vermin. Rabbit burrows are no match for ferrets. Their slim bodies and curious nature makes them the perfect rabbit hunter. Hence the term “ferret out.” Ferrets were commonly utilized in the American West to defend grain storage from rodents from 1860 to the start of World War II. In the 1980s and 1990s, they were popularized as pets.
Ferrets Are Related To Polecats
Did you know that ferrets are actually descendants of the European polecat? Cool huh!
When Polecats and ferrets interbreed they produce the domesticated ferrets we know today.
Ferrets Dance When They Are Threatened
Forget fight or flight when frightened! Ferrets perform a hypnotic dance that puts their aggressors to sleep instead. Domestic ferrets do the same dance, but they mainly do it for fun. They’ll arch their backs and puff their tails as they move from side to side. Busting a move in this manner is usually an indication that the ferret is content and having a good time.
Mosquitoes Aren’t On Their Side
Heartworms can be transmitted to ferrets through the bite of an infected mosquito. Ferrets are susceptible to heartworm infections in the same way as dogs are, but their symptoms are more like those found in cats. Don’t fret, there’s a cure! Imidacloprid and moxidectin have been approved by the FDA to prevent heartworms in ferrets.
Black-Footed Ferrets Are Picky Eaters, Very Picky!
In central North America, wild black-footed ferrets, often known as American polecats, prey only on unsuspecting prairie dogs. Prairie dogs made up 91 percent of the black-footed ferret’s diet in South Dakota, according to scientists. Unfortunately, their primary source of sustenance has more serious issues than simply being eaten: the Black Death.
The deadly virus has a habit of wiping out entire colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs. The endangered black-footed ferrets, who perish without their favorite food, are particularly vulnerable to this hazard.