I've given Jeannie her own page, to make it easier to follow her progress. I'll also put on any other wildlife cases we get in.
A few days ago we were brought a poorly ferret, picked up locally by a lovely member of the public who looked after her overnight until we could take her. She arrived in a bad way. Her right eye had been lost and was severely infected. The infection had spread to her face and she was covered with tics. We have no idea what had happened but she was rushed to the vets and given antibiotics and had some of the tics removed. We didnt think she'd survive but to our surprise she started eating and drinking as much as her deformity would allow, although she didnt display normal ferret characteristics. She was very feisty being handled, would only eat her food when no-one was looking and was very suspicious. It soon became clear she could be a wild polecat.
Further enquiries to the Wildlife Trust revealed that polecats had been reported in the area that she had been found and they suspected she could be wild. We are working with them and the vet to see if she could have any possibility of being released as we do not believe in keeping wild animals in captivity if they can survive in the wild.
Here are some pics of her - Heather (vet) suggested we named her Jeannie:-
Jeannie tucking into chicken soup
We will keep you updated on her progress...
Well in spite of all her injuries, Jeannie is doing really well. She has almost doubled her weight and looks a much healthier animal. We are still waiting to see where she can live permanently, at the moment it looks like it may have to be a wildlife sanctuary as we dont think she could cope back in the wild. She tolerates being held but it still very skittish and feisty!
Here are some latest pics of her
Keep fingers crossed we can find somewhere suitable for her
Tonight we were brought a weasel baby. She was very cold to touch so I dithered with my initial reaction to put her back where she was found and went with my gut reaction to try and warm and feed her. I'm not sure at this stage whether this was the right decision, as I appreciate most animals should be left in the wild where their mothers can find them but She seemed to be losing life fast and I didnt want to risk her dying of hypothermia.
She has taken some milk and seems a little livelier so will speak with the wildlife experts tomorrow. In the meanwhile her is our little weasley
29/8/10 - Little Weasley picked up wonderfully overnight and took fluids. On the advice of wildlife experts she was fed with meat during the day and released back in the same spot he was found 24 hours later. What a result!
We've been contacted by the Durham Wildlife Trust who want to help Jeannie. We will see if we can DNA Jeannie to find out if she is definately a polecat, and then they can hopefully help us find somewhere permanent for her to live.
Well lots has been happening. Jeannie is looking to get a permanent home in a sanctuary in Derbyshire where they take on all animals especially mustelids, and have polecats there already. As soon as its confirmed she is going I will post a link to the site - but it does look good. We will drive her down ourselves so we can sneak a look around, apparently there is a pine marten in rehab so I do need to see!
The Durham wildlife Trust have taken DNA samples from Jeannie and another 'suspicious' inmate who found himself trapped in a squirrel trap in Stocksfield. This large poley coloured boy is extremely nervous and hides all day in his bed. Although he is different to any other ferret we've had in, I'm not sure he's a polecat as he had no tics or fleas on him. I would expect a wild animal to have some freeloaders accompanying them!
I cannot thank the Wildlife Trust enough for their help, please support them in their work if you can. I will keep you updated as to what happens...
Will be taking Jeannie to the Chestnut Centre in Derbyshire on Thursday. I have chatted to the 'polecat keeper' there who is looking forward to meeting Jeannie. I will take her myself so can report back on how it goes.
Well Jeannie went to her new home in Derbyshire which is the most amazing place. She has the attention of a very experienced polecat handler, Rebecca, and will hopefully enjoy the company of another ferret/polecat when she's out of the hospital wing. Rebecca will keep us posted on her progress.
This is Jeannie making herself comfortable in Rebeccas arms!
Unfortunately she didnt settle at The Chestnut Centre as the other polecats attacked her and, with her mouth deformity, she couldnt fight back. Rebecca has kept her as a house pet and she has taken beautifully to being in captivity so I am happy to have her back with us as this is now obviously the best situation for her.
I have to confess to being delighted to see her again, we missed her terribly, and she runs around happily playing on her own although she is a little beast to catch!!!!
Well Jeannie has settled well back into home life and is a happy little soul, playing well and eating us out of house and home.
She is a little star, and a pleasure to have around, even though she does have a particularly bad case of halitosis (bad breath!)
More pics of Jeannie, shes such a lovely lass!
Cant believe how light her mask has gone overwinter although shes starting to get a dark mask back aqain now. Jeannie went for a check up on her cleft palate yesterday at the vets, no one can quite work how shes survived let alone flourished with the deformity. She had an antibiotic injection as there was a little localised infection and became the star of the show whilst she was there!!
She then went on to run around as normal (shes always the last run of the day) as we cant catch her easily so have to wait until she falls asleep before she can go back into her cage!
20/6/12 It is with deep regret that we have to inform you that Jeannie died yesterday. She had an infection in her cleft palate that didnt respond to antibiotics and steroids. We knew she wouldnt make a good old age but this was quite unexpected. Thankfully she didnt suffer a long illness, and passed away in her sleep. She was a once in a lifetime character, who would play endlessly and spend hours 'stalking' us then run off chuckling to herself. We'll miss her.
you will be sorely missed x