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European Polecat

The European Polecat (Mustela putorius), also known as a fitch, is a member of the Mustelidae family. It is related to the stoats, otters, weasels, and minks. They are dark brown with a lighter bandit-like mask across the face, pale yellow underbody fur, a long tail and short legs. They are somewhat larger than weasels, weighing between 24.69 oz (0.7 kg) for females to 59.97 oz (1.7 kg) for males, but smaller than otters.

Polecats live in most of the countries of Europe. They are mainly nocturnal and usually found in woodlands, farmlands, and wetlands. They often make dens in stream banks or under tree roots. Mainly carnivorous, they feed largely on frogs and voles, but will also catch rats and other small prey. They require a home range of about a square kilometer. In some parts of England, the abandoning of domestic ferrets has led to ferret-polecat hybrids living in the wild that are almost indistinguishable from pure polecats.

European Polecat


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