Furry friends in southern Italy

07/14/2009 - 06:22

We live in Basilicata.  Recently, we have noticed that we are sharing our roof space with some furry friends.  They look like squirrels, but have longer tails and white cheeks.  Our son, who is a zooligist, says that squirrels are not really native to southern Italy and that they are more likely to be Polecats, Pine Martens or Ferrets.  They are nocturnal and seem to be causing no problems for us so far.  Does anybody else have any experience of anything similar? 



This could be a dormouse, we had quite a few sharing our house until our chimney was repaired.I cannot understand what you say about Squirrels as we regularly get these very dark Red Squirrels in our garden; they are almost black with a white bib.

 Russ is right, the weasels we have are real predators and you can see that they are feared by other small animals who may become their prey. I observe them from my window and everyone leaves the minute the weasels appear, even if I am feeding everyone some bread. But they are very pretty to watch. They also like to eat crusts of bread.

Weasels are very very small about 6 inches long if it was bigger I think the references would more trully suit a Stoat, which is a more sizeable villian altogether capable of taking Rabbits or chickens. 

 Yes, Gromit, our weasels are about 8 inches long. They look a bit bigger when they are swimming because of their tails. But larger birds like the ducks or even some water rats keep away from them and they simply disappear the minute they show themselves. Their reaction shows that they are scared.