World War II
During that war, B-26 Marauders and B-29 Superfortresses were built at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
The base had a ferret farm and used the ferrets to run through the structure of the plane with wires attached, making easy work of wiring the planes.
I wonder if they were rewarded with a medal and a pension at the end of their work ?
National Accelerator Laboratory
In 1971 an article was written about Felicia, the atomic age pipe cleaner!
She helped clean the 300-foot pipes in the Meson Laboratory building under construction at the $250 million National Accelerator Laboratory at Batavia.
Another ferret to the rescue … but I hope that they didn’t send her to a “live museum” to live out her old age once they retired her. Too depressing to think about if they did ?
Y2K Center at the U.S. Space Command
In May 1999 the command’s new year 2000 missile warning center at Peterson Air Force Base needed to connect computers so additional wires had to be run through 40’ long narrow pipes.
Lt. Col. Randy Blaisdell, who supervised the building of the Y2K center, remembered that ferrets were used at Offutt Air Force Base during WII, so he brought in his pet ferret, Misty, to help out.
He tied a piece of yarn around Misty’s waist and she crawled through the conduit, towing the yarn behind her. Then the loose end was tied around the wires and they were pulled through the conduit.
A difficult, fiddly task which would have taken a person weeks to complete was finished within an hour and Misty was rewarded with her favorite treat, a strawberry pop-tart ?
A Royal Wedding and the Millennium Concert in London
Both occasions saw ferrets pulling cables through pipes to help the technicians get their sound and TV paraphernalia all working for both events ?
Ferret Therapy for Sick Kids
In 2002 the BBC reported a story called “Ferret Therapy for Ill Children”, and described how Dr June McNicholas had been taking her two ferrets to visit kids in hospitals and schools in the West Midland area in England.
So, to all those nay sayers out there, who say ferrets are dangerous and vicious, this should prove that they are not and are helping with the healing process!
I was amused to see that the photo used in the article was the same as the one they had for the Millennium Concert article. Obviously don’t have many ferret photos available in their library ?
A Ferret as a Stage Prop
In 2004, Martha Henry played the part of the Queen in Cymbeline at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Toronto.
She demonstrated her character’s evil personality quite graphically during the first act when she removes an albino ferret, which is obviously a loved pet, from her bosom and walks off with her leashed ferret leading the way.
Then during the 2nd half of the play, she enters with a white stole draped across her shoulders, revealing her change of heart regarding her once loved pet and showing that she is, in fact, the archetypal wicked stepmother without a shred of decency in her cruel and heartless bones!
Boo hiss to the wicked stepmother!!! ?
Ferrets of War
Quebec and Imphal were two ferrets who were presented by locals when the 1st Battalion Yorkshire was on duty in Northern Ireland.
It doesn’t say what they did – perhaps they were ferreting out things about the IRA ? or maybe they were just mascots for the Battalion – but they will be included in an exhibition called “The Animals’ War” at the Imperial War Museum in London from July 14 2006 – April 22 2007.
A School’s Hockey Team Mascot
Not only can ferrets be mascots to the Army, they can also spur the kids in St Stephen’s Year 9 hockey team (circa 1993) to bigger and better goals.
More power to the Masher! ?
Return from Present Day Ferret Achievements to All About Ferrets
2 thoughts on “Present Day Ferret Achievements”
D’y’know, they keep trying to invent robotic gadgets to pull cables through but ye cannae beat a ferret for the job. So long as there is only one route to follow….Any gap in the tunnel and the ferret is off investigating and (ah hem) ferreting around, and good luck getting it back on task.
Seriously though, love the linked stories about the ferrets running cables. And really love the story about ferrets for sick kids – my Sage would be great for entertaining kids cos she’s very bouncy and vocal and never bites
Margaret, I entirely agree with you about putting a ferret in charge of pulling cables through tunnels but I have found that some ferrets get bored going one way and they’ll turn around in a tunnel and head back out from whence they entered ?? Or they might even fall asleep in the middle of their assignment and spend hours zzzZZZzzzing ?
You should tee up a time to take Sage to a children’s hospital or playgroup and introduce her to the little ones! We did that with my first ferret, Mash, who was like your Sage and never ever bit anyone. She’d lick them all to death ???