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Monday, August 6, 2018
The ferret was domesticated several thousand years ago to help hunters flush rabbits from their holes and also to catch small animals such as rats and mice.
Today, the ferret is the most popular companion mammal in the U.S. behind the dog and cat.
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Today's Random Fact:
Ferrets belong to the weasel (Mustelidae) family. Besides weasels and ferrets, this group of animals also includes minks, otters, and badgers as well as polecats and sables.
Like all members of the weasel family, ferrets are closely related to skunks and, like skunks, they can emit an odorous smell when excited or afraid. Consequently, many ferret owners decide to have their ferrets de-scented.
The word "ferret" is from the Latin fur, meaning "little thief." Indeed, one of the ferret's favorite activities is stealing and hiding things.
There are several populations of feral ferrets throughout the world. The most notable and destructive population lives in New Zealand. They were initially imported from England from 1879 to 1883 to help control the rabbit population. When that population was under control, the hybrids began eating New Zealand's native birds which, until that time, had no natural predators.