07/02/2018

Cute new ferrets at Bristol Zoo Gardens

These cute little ferrets are turning heads at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

They are about nine months old and have just started appearing in  school education sessions in the Zoo’s Conservation Education Centre.   

Edison, and his brothers Tesla, Darwin and Gandalf arrived at the Zoo in April last year.

They had to remain in quarantine first before animal care technician Carys Peotto could begin to prepare them for meeting classes of children.

The ferrets have since settled into life alongside other animals that appear in education sessions including tortoises, snakes, and Gambian pouched rats.

Carys said: “They are very sociable. They can sleep up to 20 hours a day but when they are awake they are very playful.”

One of their favourite treats is to be given a container of soil which they love diving into and trying to burrow their way out of.

Visiting school parties learn how ferrets were domesticated from the European polecat, a species that still lives in the wild in this country. They are also taught how ferrets are closely related to more familiar animals such as stoats and weasels.

Youngsters are then introduced to the ferrets and are given the chance to stroke them with the backs of their hands.

Carys said: “The children love them because they are such fun and so cute. They really are very entertaining animals.”

The four ferrets live outside and have put on lots of winter weight. The heaviest one, Darwin, tips the scales at 1.7 kg (3lbs 7ozs).

They are already becoming firm favourites at the Zoo’s Conservation Education Centre, which delivers about 1,500 sessions for visiting schoolchildren each year.

To find out more about education sessions at Bristol Zoo please go to http://www.bristolzoo.org.uk/schools-and-education/school-trips/education-sessions

 

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