Tiny Striped polecat recovering from dog bites

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The tiny Striped Polecat being cared for by FreeMe in Howick.
The tiny Striped Polecat being cared for by FreeMe in Howick.

FreeMe Wildlife is caring for a tiny Striped Polecat, which was bought to the Howick rehabilitation centre on Christmas Day.

It had been found alone, covered in tiny bite marks, after an encounter with a dog in Mooi River.

On arrival, she weighed only 118 grams, her eyes were still closed and her baby canine teeth had only just begun to show.

A Striped Polecat’s teeth start to erupt at around 33 days and their eyes open at 40 days old.

“Due to this, we can safely assume that she is around four weeks old,” said spokesperson Wade Whitehead.

“While it may seem like she has a long road ahead of her, polecats are able to successfully kill small rodents at only nine weeks old. Until that time, however, she is being fed milk at regular intervals, throughout the day and night.”

Striped polecats have fast metabolism and have to eat often.

To find out more about the work being done at FreeMe, go to www.freemekzn.co.za.

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