Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

 That is the sound of an African Striped Weasel.(Poecilogale albinucha) Another animal I saved from the clutches of the local witches. They say this animal is very rare, and can make very powerful JU JU's.
   This weasel is a very strong preditor, it can be identified by its long slender body with a white and black stripe down its back. The smell is similar to a skunk and when mad, it makes a GRRRRRRRRR sound.
   It has a sleek, black color with a white tail and four white stripes running down its back. It is 50 centimeters in length on average, including its tail of 20 centimeters.
   The African striped weasel lives in forests, wetlands and grasslands. It is a nocturnal hunter of small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Mainly rats! The weasel kills its prey by whipping its own body and kicking, making use of its thin, lithe, muscular body to stun and tear the prey item. I have watched it many times killing a rat and it goes straight for the back of the neck. Once the back bone is located it simply cracks it.  It sometimes stores its prey in its burrow instead of eating it immediately. Like skunks and polecats, the weasel emits a noxious fluid from its anal glands when it feels threatened. The weasel is generally solitary, but individuals have been found sharing burrows. 
    This is the 3rd weasel that has come to the orphanage, one was caught by my dog during a rain storm, another was rescued but after a short few days it died in captivity, and now this one was caught examined for problems then after a few days it was released back to the wild.  A success!
After the first day of this one being in quarantine the weasel gave off a smell that repelled all who came close to the cage. The smell last for months at a time.
  This weasel was over 2 feet long and had a beautiful coat. A full size one at that.

One thing that I am still a great fan of is the HEXGUARD gloves that I have for handling different animals with. This weasel kept on biting and trying to rip off my fingers over and over again. I could see his frustration as he tried different angles and sides, until he just gave up. It must have been his first time to be handled instead of him handling someone else.
  This animal would be virtually impossible to handle without protected gear. And the teeth on this guy is razor sharp, especially made to rip!
  Better luck next time you old weasel. He is now safe in the woods doing what he does. Eating rats!  


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