Michael Floyd, a homeowner at Lake Riverside Estates, had an interesting and unique experience with a normally shy and elusive wild animal recently.
A weasel popped into his bathroom.
“I had left the door open for the kitties, and when I went to the door to check on them, I swore I saw something flash by out of the corner of my eye but couldn’t find anything,” Floyd said. “When I walked by the bathroom, I saw my cat Anna sitting and staring at the toilet – not normal behavior for her. Upon closer inspection I found a weasel hiding between the tank and the wall.”
According to DesertUSA, a website about deserts, wildlife, plants and more, the long-tailed weasel – like its taxonomic brethren, the least weasel and the short-tailed weasel – may seem as endearing as a curious, lively kitten, but in fact, ounce for ounce, it ranks as one of nature’s most relentless and ferocious predators. Indeed, it has been called “nature’s psychopath.”
Thinking it was someone’s pet ferret, Floyd said he calmly captured the petite invader and put it in a pet carrier for transport to its worried owner. Only the creature was no pet; it was a wild weasel.
The native long-tailed weasel, Mustela frenata, is a small carnivorous mammal that lives in woodlands, riparian grasslands, deserts and marshes. They favor rock crevices, brush piles, stump hollows and abandoned burrows made by other animals.
Mostly solitary, weasels are mostly active during the day, hunting mice, ground squirrels, rabbits and gophers. Weasels are prey for foxes, coyotes, rattlesnakes and birds of prey as well as domestic dogs and cats.
Long-tailed weasels have a black tip at the end of their tail, helping to distinguish them from other weasel species.
These animals have a ferocious reputation and can attack prey several times their size, with unprecedented fury. Weasels have been known to get into a chicken coop, destroying every bird inside.
“Apparently Mr. Weasel wanted to visit the Floyd household,” Carmen Batten said. “Mr. Weasel did not know that Anna the queen kitty wasn’t having any of that. Anna alerted Mike; Mike proceeded to catch what we thought was a pet ferret. Alas, that aggressive little beast is not a pet and was safely released back into the wild, far, far away from my home. No kittens, humans, ferrets, weasels or badgers were harmed in this morning’s escapades.”
Diane Sieker can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.