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Animal Stories: Ferrets

This post is third in a series about our animals who are former pets, like our skunk and desert tortoises.

Ferrets are often confused for being a legal pet in California, but have you noticed that you cannot buy one from a pet store or adopt one from an animal shelter in California? This is because they are illegal to have as pets here.


We have four European ferrets at CuriOdyssey that are all former pets. “Fabio” was surrendered and came to CuriOdyssey in 2009, while “Frostine,” and “Marmot” were surrendered and came to CuriOdyssey in 2013.  “Ferret Bueller” was found roaming in someone’s backyard and joined the other three ferrets in 2013.

It is illegal to have European ferrets as pets in California because they are great escape artists (as Ferret Bueller demonstrated) and could quickly become a non-native, invasive species here.  It would not be difficult for them to out-compete native California wildlife for food and habitat, and our state is known to have many species not found anywhere else in the world (endemic species).

Fabio arrived to CuriOdyssey overweight because as a pet, he was not fed the proper diet. Today, he is at a much healthier weight with better nutrition. All of our ferrets live together, creating a group of ferrets known as a “business.”  They are very popular Animal Ambassadors, best known for their appearances in our Wildlife Shows. They all are trained by one of our animal keepers to exhibit various behaviors. Their favorite food is cooked shrimp and they love running through small tunnels!

[post and photo by Rachael Rufino]


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1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
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CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The gold standard for animal care and welfare.
ASTC Member. Association of Science and Technology Centers.
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