Have you heard of the European Polecat? These animals are part of the Mustelidae family, which includes weasels, stoats, skunks, martens, mink, and otters.1 They look a lot like ferrets, and it’s thought that the domestic ferret is a descendant of the European Polecat.2

These animals, also known as Mustela putorius, are about 19 to 29 inches long, including their tails, and weigh up to 3 pounds.2&3 They can be found throughout Europe, in countries such as England, Wales, Portugal, and Russia.3

They are obligate carnivores.1 They prey on:2&3

  • Rabbits
  • Rodents
  • Amphibians
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Snakes

They can usually be found in woodland or wetland habitats.1 They are vulnerable to getting run over by cars and secondary poisoning by eating rodents that have been killed through poisoning.3


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/european-polecat
  2. https://www.britannica.com/animal/polecat#ref221234
  3. https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/mammals/facts-about-polecats/