The polecat had become trapped overnight in a tower foundation excavation site. This left the creature exposed to the elements and at risk from other predators. Fortunately, the team at Babcock discovered the polecat, which was in poor condition and in need of medical attention.
Members of the project team reacted quickly and sought help and guidance from the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre in Huntspill, who determined that the polecat was domesticated and had likely become lost after having escaped from its home. Staff at the rescue centre were instrumental in helping to find an alternative veterinary clinic to take the lost polecat.
The wandering mammal has since recovered and the clinic is now on the hunt for its owner.
I hope that its owners are found and we can conclude this story with a happy ending.
James Coope, Environmental Advisor at Babcock, commented: “The quick thinking of the project team helped to save the life of one of the UK’s most unique creatures. While domesticated, this polecat is a wonderful example of the types of animals we often come across when working on site.
“I’m incredibly proud of the reactiveness of the team and would like to extend my thanks to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre for helping us to find a veterinary clinic who could provide the care that this lost animal so desperately needed. I hope that its owners are found and we can conclude this story with a happy ending.”
Wild polecats, known for their bandit-like appearance, were once hunted to the brink of extinction and are classified as a protected species in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. They’re roughly the size of a ferret and can be found in lowland wooded habitats, marshes, riverbanks or dry-stone walls. In 2005, after an absence of many years due to persecution, the return of the wild polecat to Somerset was confirmed.
The team at Babcock will be volunteering their time at the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre to show their appreciation for the help provided in getting the lost polecat to a safe and warm environment.