Meet the stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the ermine or short-tailed weasel. It is native to Eurasia and North America.
For stoats living further north their fur turns white during the winter with the exception of their black-tipped tail. When a stoat has white fur it is often referred to as an ermine. It belongs to the family Mustelidae and the genus Mustela, just like the domesticated ferret that we love so much!
See more photos of the stoat after the jump.
The stoat is listed in the top “100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Species” by the Invasive Species Specialist Group. Also, stoats were kept as pets by the aristocracy, and their white pelts were used to line or trim aristocratic garments.