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Tinker came to Wildworks in August of 2011, with her sister Bell. They were born in Arizona and purchased as a present for someone in California, who never came to pick them up. They were cared for by a nice lady in California for almost a year. At first, she tried to keep one and gave the other to a friend. That didn’t work because they were very bonded to each other and weren’t doing well with the separation. So the decision was made that she would keep both animals and they were reunited. Since ferrets are illegal to have as pets in California, she began looking for a legal home for them and found The Nature of Wildworks. Tinker and Bell became permanent residents at our Wildworks care center and a large new enclosure was constructed just for them. They were very playful in their custom designed habitat which includes shelves, ramps and numerous toys to keep them busy. Sadly, Bell passed away in 2015, leaving her sister Tinker. Tinker began to show signs of depression and we fervently looked for another ferret to keep her company. As luck would have it, we received a call not long after from someone looking to re-home another illegal ferret.
Peter Pan had a rough road to Wildworks. He started out as a pet in a different state, where ferrets are legal. His owner soon had to leave the house they lived in due to personal issues and was unable to bring him and his other ferret friend with her. The other person in the house refused to give them proper care and the other ferret passed away. Upon learning this, the original owner began to ask friends to pick up Peter and her other animals still at the house, as she could not return. One of them took Peter and the remaining animals to California and all seemed to be well again. Then this person decided not to keep Peter and told the original owner that they were planning to sell him. So once again, she began to call her friends and ask someone to take Peter. Finally one of her friends offered to take him temporarily. When she picked up Peter, he was being kept in a small basket not even big enough to stretch out in that had not been cleaned in some time. He had a small amount of cheap cat food (very low in nutrients) and no visible water source. He was thin, had feces and urine in his fur and was dehydrated.
But this was where things started to look up for Peter. His new temporary owner got him a proper enclosure, cleaned him up and gave him plenty of good food and water. Once he began to look healthier, she asked the original owner where to bring him and was told that she could just bring him to a shelter because they couldn't find a home. Thankfully, this girl knew of the Nature of Wildworks and called us up, hoping we would have space for him.
We welcomed Peter Pan home with open arms (and paws) and he and Tinker quickly became good friends. They now cuddle together every night in their ferret hammock, happy as can be. They are both great outreach animals and help us to teach the public why these animals are illegal in some states and about their wild cousins, the black footed ferret.
In the summer of 2017, a white domestic ferret with a brown tail, our newest furry weasel, was found wandering around a park in Corona, CA. Ferrets are commonly kept as pets in CA but still are illegal in this state and it is not uncommon to find them wandering loose as they escape from homes or are set free. They cannot survive as city wildlife or out alone in the wilds of nature so fortunately this little guy was spotted and taken to an animal shelter, then transferred to Wildworks. Adult ferrets can be hard to introduce to each other as they generally are better friends with animals they meet when they’re young. Not so in the case of Captain Hook. Quite the bonded trio, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and their new friend can be found cuddling together in their hammock, tube, box or blanket, bouncing playfully around their shared enclosure, or eating together peacefully out of the same bowl at feeding time. Who says that three’s a crowd?!