An ermine, or weasel, pops up to say hi to some Vernon walkers recently. (Carmen Tamas)

An ermine, or weasel, pops up to say hi to some Vernon walkers recently. (Carmen Tamas)

Weasels keep Vernon mouse population under control

‘Cute’ little carnivores can be a problem if you have chickens, but great for rodent management

They might be ‘cute’ but don’t let those big eyes weasel you, these animals are fearless.

The recent sighting of a white ermine, or weasel, in Vernon drew a lot of attention on social media.

Carmen Tamas saw the little animal pop up on its hind legs while she was out for a walk. She managed to capture a photo of the creature and posted it to Facebook’s Hell Yeah Vernon page, which drew questions of what it was.

“We were walking on the bike path in Coldstream, the narrow part just coming up to Palfrey Drive,” Tamas said. “It came out from under a fallen down fence panel. Our dogs and us watched for a good 3 minutes . It came out from under there and then stood up and curiously looked at us. Really cool experience.”

While she had neer seen one before, there are lots of the ermine in the area, according to urban wildlife expert Pete Wise.

“We have three species of these guys in the province,” Wise said.

Some people may have spotted brown ones in the summer, as their coats change colour between the seasons and are white in the winter.

A member of the weasel clan, the ermine is relative to wolverines badger, fisher and Martin, hence their aggressive behaviour.

“It’s not something you would want to grab they will bite and are totally fearless,” Wise warns. Although he has fed them sitting on his knee, which he called. “very cool.”

The creatures are handy at keeping some other pests under control.

“They can be a bit of a problem with chickens but on a whole they are very beneficial especially if you have a mouse problem,” according to Wise.

They range in size from about eight to 14 inches and if you sit still long enough in an area where their tracks are, you might see one.

READ MORE: Turkeys talk back at traffic in Spallumcheen

READ MORE: Winter-ready, short-tailed weasel pays Shuswap photographer a visit


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Wildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Vernon elementary school

Exposure at BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Paddlewheel Park off Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looks to address parking shortage at Paddlewheel Park

City staff are looking into short, medium and long-term overflow parking options

(GVMA)
WATCH: A Royal procession through Vernon, 1959

Prince Philip, who died April 9 at 99, visited Vernon on a tour of Canada in 1959

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read