A Chinese ferret badger is a cross between a ferret and a badger. Its binomial name is Melogale moschata, and it is native to Southeast Asia. Chinese ferret badgers are not an endangered species according to the UN conservation status. The species thrive because they are not suitable for human consumption, and they are aggressive at fighting off predators.
There are some connections between the Chinese ferret badger and the latest SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. WHO identifies the species as an intermediary species that come into contact with bats that host the virus.
There is little that is known about the Chinese ferret badger and its contributions to the ecosystem. There are many interesting facts about the Chinese ferret badger, their habitat, feeding habits, and how they interact with humans.
Description of the Chinese Ferret Badger
It is part of the Mustelidae family, and it is among the smallest species of Chinese badgers. It looks like a cross between a ferret and a badger.
Chinese ferret badgers have white markings on their faces and a white stripe down their backs. They have short fur on their bodies, but their tails are bushy.
They are small and weigh about 2-5 Kg, and they have bodies that are 13-17 inches long. The tails are anywhere between 5.9 inches to 9.1 inches long, depending on the gender and age of the animal.
Overall, the Chinese badger has distinguishing marks that make it easy to identify it from other animals in the Mustelidae family.
Geographical Distribution of Ferrets in China
There is no shortage of ferrets in Chinese forests and agricultural areas in the Southern Region of China. They are also present in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Northern Indochina.
The Chinese ferret badger enjoys tropical and semitropical forests. They can also live in urban villages if the need arises.
Chinese ferret badgers burrow during the day in holes they make or holes made by other rodents. They also have sharp nails that allow them to climb on trees and sleep on branches away from predators.
The choice of places to sleep will enable them to stay safe, depending on the surrounding environment.
Chinese ferret badgers can live in urban villages as they choose to sleep on top of wood piles or stacked stones. Also, they do not eat small domestic animals like chicken or other farm birds.
They eat insects, worms, amphibians like cockroaches, and earthworms, which s beneficial for a village. They are omnivores and can find grass, greens, and fruits to eat from nearby agricultural farms.
Chinese Ferret Badgers Population
Chinese ferret badgers are not an endangered species because they don’t have many predators. They produce a foul smell from their anal glands to scare any predators.
There are many ferret badgers in the wild, and their population is growing steadily. The animals are hunted for their fur, but the pellets fetch a low price, so hunters aren’t motivated to pursue them.
Overall, a ferret badger can live for 10-years on average. Food supply is abundant in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. There are no commercial benefits associates with the Chinese ferret badger, and no one trades commercially in high quantity.
There are a few individuals that have Chinese ferret badgers as pets across the globe. However, the trend of owning a pet ferret in Chinese practices is low. Pet owners may own a ferret or other exotic pet animals, but it isn’t common to find Chinese ferret badgers as pets.
Overall, the species’ population is not in danger, and it thrives well in Southeast Asian countries. Most of the ferret badgers roam freely in the wild with no one hunting them for their fur.
Chinese Ferret Badgers Behaviors
Chinese ferret badgers tend to have home ranges, but they don’t make permanent homes. They are nomads and tend to move around a lot.
Chinese ferret badgers are not territorial about homes, and they can use an abandoned makeshift home used by others of their species. Alternatively, they can dig shallow holes into burrowing or creating a makeshift home.
Most Chinese ferret badgers sleep in one location once or several days before moving on to another area. They find a home that was built by a male or female ferret badger without discriminating.
They are active from dusk to dawn, sleeping during the day. The small animals can find food during their movement to avoid starving. They will eat what is available and consistent with their diet.
Reproduction of the Chinese Badger Ferret
Chinese ferret badgers reproduce twice a year on average at around May-June and Sept-Oct. The females give birth to a litter of 2-3 cubs. The cubs have fur with the same color and patterns as the parents.
However, they are blind during birth, and they begin to see two weeks after birth.
Is Chinese Badger Ferret Dangerous?
No. The Chinese ferret badgers are not vicious towards people. They usually mind their own business, but they are not afraid of humans.
They can stand still when someone admires them, and there are hundreds of pictures of Chinese ferret badgers online.
Can You Have a Pet Chinese Badger Ferret?
Although some Asian villages use the Chinese ferret badger for pest control, they are not pets. It is illegal to have a Chinese ferret badger as a pet in most Asian countries.
Some Chinese hunters capture the Chinese badgers to sell them as exotic pets to foreign buyers.
Overall, Chinese ferret badgers are considered wild animals that should be returned to the wild when captured in urban areas. You should check with your local pet organizations if you consider adopting a Chinese ferret badger as a pet.
They are illegal pets in many countries, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of wildlife authorities.
How Are Chinese Ferret Badgers Connected to SARS-CoV-2?
Chinese ferret badgers have been linked by the World Health Organization as the carriers of SARS-CoV-2 from bats to humans. They interact with bats in the wild and picked up the virus while in the wild.
The virus was transferred to humans when hunters caught some of the ferret badgers for their pellets.
It did take a while for the necessary authorities to recognize the disease and send out warnings to other countries. SARS-CoV-2 has been in the world for over a year, and it is still an ongoing pandemic. The Chinese ferret badger doesn’t suffer from the virus because it is a carrier for the virus.
Many people didn’t know about the Chinese ferret badger until WHO connected that they were the carriers for the deadly virus. Since then, people have taken a keen interest in learning about cute animals.
No one can blame the species for being a carrier of SARS-CoV-2 because it happened in the natural interaction with bats.
Overall, Chinese ferret badgers were the bridge between bats and humans in the SARS-CoV-2. They are creatures of the wild who are not aggressive unless they sense danger from a predator or a hunter.
Chinese ferret badgers are creatures that look like a crossbreed between a ferret and a badger. There are large populations of ferret badger species in Southeast Asia.
Each species is named after the geographical location it prefers. Ferrets in Chinese culture are a good source of fur for sale. However, fur from Chinese ferret badgers is not in high demand and doesn’t fetch a good penny.
Many people outside of Southeast Asia heard of the Chinese ferret badger concerning SARS-CoV-2 transmissions. However, the animals are lovable, and they mostly keep to themselves as they carry on with their nomadic lifestyle.
They are photogenic because they have white facial markings like badgers and a white stripe at the back. However, they are smaller and more lightweight than other species in the Mustelidae family.
So what to read next? Why not check out the Black-Footed Endangered Ferret.
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