This animal is not on exhibit in the habitats. It is one of our Animal Ambassadors and is used in public and school programs.
Mustela putorius furo
Our Domestic Ferret is not on exhibit in the habitats. It is one of our Animal Ambassadors and is used in public and school programs.
Domestic Ferret History at CuriOdyssey
The younger ferret resident was first brought to the Humane Society as a “lost” ferret, and was born in 2014. The other ferret was a former illegal pet, born in 2012.
Fun Facts about Domestic Ferret
The domestic ferret is the domestic version of the European polecat. Research has shown that ferrets were bred in captivity and kept as companion animals for many years.
They were also used for rodent control and rabbit hunting. Ferrets were first depicted in Egyptian artwork dating back to 1400-1200 BCE. Augustus Caesar sent ferrets to the Balearic Islands to control the “plague of rabbits” in 6 BCE.
The ferret’s usefulness in rabbit hunting (ferreting) was spread throughout Europe by the Romans, who used ferreting as a way to keep their infantry busy and well fed.
What do Domestic Ferrets eat?
At CuriOdyssey, we serve our ferrets cat kibble, meat and insects. Wild European polecats eat small mammals, rabbits, birds, invertebrates, lizards, frogs, and a small amount of plant matter.
How long do Domestic Ferrets live?
Domestic ferrets live 5-7 years, while wild European ferrets live 4-5 years.
Where do Domestic Ferrets live?
Domestic ferrets are not found in the wild. Wild European polecats are found in forests, mountains, farmlands, semi-desert, steppe, and tundra. They range from Europe (not Ireland or Northern Scandinavia), Western Asia, and North Africa.
Are Domestic Ferrets endangered?
No special status. However, the domestic ferret’s close relative, the black-footed ferret, is very endangered. The black-footed ferret is native to the central United States. It has become an endangered species because cities and ranches have taken over the range of its main prey, the prairie dog.
Domestic ferrets are illegal to have as pets in California because if they escape from captivity and survive as feral animals they would compete with native wildlife for food and shelter.
Your contribution helps provide my food, toys, and medical care. I’ll stay at the museum, and you’ll get a photo of me and a certificate as reminders of your generosity. Check out our adoption section and see all of our adoption levels.