Polecat sighting – July 2017 

image001There have been two sightings of polecats in Mamhead this month. The polecat, a member of the stoat and badger family,  is making a remarkable recovery after being persecuted almost to extinction. In 1915 they had been driven into small area of Wales and the very north of Scotland. It is now legally protected and its comeback is a big success story. 
They have been spotted in Devon and in the Teignbridge area for some time now. They tend to be nocturnal and are easily recognised by their black and white ‘bandit’ faces and rounded ears. They are the size of a small cat with a bushy tail. In shape they are similar to mink but the black and white face of the polecat makes it easily recognisable. The domesticated  ferret was bred from polecats about 2000 years ago.
The two local sightings were around 10 and 11pm. One was in Port Road and the other was a sighting of two polecats near the telephone exchange. In both cases they were in the road and were easily seen and in car headlights.