Animal news: if you could clone one animal, which would it be?

My choice for the last animal: a ferret.


The cloned ferret has a name. Elizabeth Ann. But what you really want to know is, why do I have a dim impression of ferrets?

Because I’ve been watching “The Yorkshire Vet” over and over and over, etc. To my surprise, a number of the vets’ clients have ferrets as pets. Further to my surprise, all of those human clients are manifestly crazy about their ferrets.

To me, a ferret is not an animal to go nuts over. Ferrets have none of the qualities usually required in a pet.

Apparently, ferrets stink. How did I pick up this info? Because one woman brought thirteen (!?!?!?) or more of her ferrets, each in its own cage, into the vets’ surgery to get their male bits removed. (Not my language; this is what those nice Yorkshire people call castration.*) The cages were stacked in the waiting room and certain remarks were made about the smell.

Then I watched the vets handle the ferrets; it was not easy and neither were the vets. The vets seemed wary. Ferrets are squirmy, fast and hard to get a grip on. Moreover, they can bite. And a further moreover, although all the ferret-lovers — most of whom were women — kept flinging their ferrets over their shoulders and kissing them and fondling them, the ferrets did not in my observation reciprocate. At best, they grimly went limp (maybe they were gassed with Librium) and allowed themselves to be handled. They were not like, say, cats. Or pandas or bears. They did not respond to affection. The best they could do was not commit armed assault.

There’s a lot of the rodent in the appearance of ferrets. If a ferret rolled across my path in Central Park, I’d assume it was a rat.

Whatever ferrets are, they are not endangered in Yorkshire. And they are not sweet. Hedgehogs, which are endangered in the British Isles, are much sweeter than ferrets.

Go clone a hedgehog, please, but let the ferrets fend for themselves.

*Now wait a sec. If the ferret is an endangered species, why are these nutty ladies having their ferrets castrated? Shouldn’t they be encouraging procreation?

h/t Ellen Kaye

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