Zoo

The Zoo at Chehaw is home to 234 specimens representing over 73 different species. Enjoy natural, outdoor exhibits including Cheetahs, Black Rhinoceros’, Meerkats, Black Bears, Alligators, and many more, while you stroll through our scenic boardwalks and cypress swamp. Participate in animal feedings and keeper talks every weekend. Chehaw’s African Veldt Ride is free with admission, and will take you through our largest exhibit where seven different species roam in natural herds. The Zoo at Chehaw undergoes regular, thorough investigation to ensure that it has met, and will to continue to meet, ever-rising standards. These standards encompass animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. 

Mustela putorious

Image result for european polecat zoo

Habitat:Forested and semi-forested habitats near water sources


Range:Originally Northern Africa but now can be found all over the world.


Activity Cycle:Crepuscular-active during dawn and dusk


Features:Sexually dimorphic with males being twice as large as and three times heavier than females. They are relatively nearsighted and have fairly poor hearing. They rely mainly on their senses of touch and smell. There is usually little body color variation in wild animal species. The domestic ferrets are available in many color and pattern varieties. The European polecat is a typical standard sable, whereas pet ferrets can come in many shades, from deep black and dark brown to chocolate and light sable.


Size:19-22 inches long with females weighing 1.5-2.5 pounds and males weighing 3-5 pounds


Social Structure:Very social creatures who enjoy a lot of attention


Life Expectancy:9-10 years


Diet:They are obligate carnivores with extremely high metabolisms. Food will travel through the body in 3-5 hours so they will need to eat about 10x a day. They prey upon frogs and rodents in the wild.


Reproduction:They are polygamous. Gestation is 42 days and a litter size is 6-9 young. They are well developed at birth and considered adults at 6-7 months of age. Males are known as hobs and females as jills. Juveniles are kits and a group of ferrets is called a “business of ferrets.”


Status:Domesticated, the IUCN lists ferrets as "least concern".


Interesting Facts:
They are domesticated but it is through that they were descended from the polecats in Europe over 2500 years ago.
They sleep 18-20 hours a day!