Monday, 25 June 2012

Polecat Babies

Don't they grow fast! It was only last week when our little polecat kitts where still eyes closed, covered in a lot of pale fur, and now they are up and about exploring the big wide world... well... kind of...

Yesterday proved to be a busy day for our polecat mother, Velvet. Her 7 kitts are now at that age where they are starting to venture out of their nest and have a look around. Well, I say have a look around... they are still quite wobbly and nervous... so it is more like, venture out of the nest box, have a quick peek and then scream their head off until mum comes to take them home again!

One or two of the braver ones stayed out for a little longer, and even ventured far enough to circle the nest box, but were soon wanting to go back to the safety of their siblings.

It is a lovely age to watch the youngsters, at 5 and a half weeks old their eyes have only just opened. Weaning before their eyes open, means the kits are healthy and strong and looking for a new adventure.

For Velvet this led to a busy day. By the time she had brought one of the kitts back to the nest, another had worked it's way out and she had to set off again. By the end of the day she was happy to just drag them back anyhow and way... even by just grabbing the ear, ouch!

But she is a very good mother, and has now had two successful litters here. Being a young mum, this bodes well for the future too. All our kitts are part of a national breeding program, and so many of the ones you will see playing over the next few weeks will be released back in to suitable environments in the country.

In other good polecat news, our new pairing Casius and Mags have also had a litter of kits. Less than a week old now, but judging by the squeaks coming from the box we are guessing around 3 babies. Not bad for a first litter. Being together only a couple of months, seems like this pair didn't take much time getting to know each other.

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