Whisper the stoat is now so alert she is ready to move to yet another new, and much bigger, enclosure!
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Both eyes are open and she is actually seeing things. It’s particularly striking when you compare her to a few weeks ago when her eyes first opened and she was quite dozy. She’s also started biting and testing everything she comes across, which of course is quite ‘stoaty’.
Her tail now has its distinctive black tip, indicating that she is a stoat. And she’s healthy. It’s interesting to note the clean, straight line where the cream fur of her belly meets the brown fur of her back. If you get close enough to these animals in the wild to see this line, it is a good way of telling weasels and stoats apart. On a weasel, it is very jagged.
Whisper is also eating meat now and, at 125gs, she is more than double the weight she was last week. I am still feeding her milk with a syringe, however, to ensure she doesn’t get dehydrated. The way to tell whether a stoat is dehydrated is to pinch fur at the back of the neck. If it springs back into shape then hydration levels are fine. I don’t think it will be long before Whisper starts drinking for herself.
Whisper’s new enclosure
Watch this to see how Whisper has developed and to see how she takes to her latest enclosure. This one is much bigger and has plenty of tubes for her to explore. I’m going to add twigs and branches as she begins to learn to climb. For now, she has her sleeping bag and a few toys from her old enclosure to make her feel at home.
The sleeping bag is important because at this age stoat kits in the wild spend a lot of time underground in tree roots, old rabbit warrens, or tucked away in the gaps under dry stone walls. Watch Whisper emerge from her sleeping bag to explore her new surroundings.
You can follow Whisper’s story on my blog here:
I am a British wildlife artist and filmmaker on a mission to share my love for wildlife with the world. As well as creating detailed animal film and art portraits, I promote wildlife tours around the world and do all I can to help conserve and protect wildlife here at my home in Yorkshire. I hope that by putting nature in the frame I can foster a deep love for wildlife amongst my followers.
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