What are some facts about ferrets?

* Ferrets mentioned in Greek historical documents -
Strabo, a Greek historian and geographer, in his book Geographica, written in about 20 AD, of an animal in Libya which was said to been bred in captivity for hunting rabbits.

Aristophanes mentions the ferret in his comedy The Acharnians, written in about 450 BC.

Aristotle
lists the ferret in his Historia Animalium, written about 320 BC

In 6 B.C. Caesar Augustus sent ship loads of ferrets to the Balearic Islands to help control an overpopulation of rabbits released by colonists as game animals.

Elizabeth I of England gave ferrets as gifts because of their importance to farming and hunting.
* A ferret named Felicia was used to clean the pipes at the National Accelerator Laboratory at Batavia. Felicia went through a 300-foot-pipe dragging a string. When she came out the other end, technicians tied a swab dipped in a chemical cleanser to the string. They pulled the tight-fitting swab through and when it came out it was covered with dust and steel specks. * A ferret named Misty was used to help pull conduit at Peterson Air Force Base. Additional wires had to be run through 40-foot-long narrow pipes, called conduits, under the floor to connect computers. A piece of yarn was tied around the ferret's midsection. The animal 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. Misty made several trips, and her work was done in an hour. * In the1960's, Boeing Aircraft Corporation used ferrets to lay guidewires that pull heavier cables through conduits. * Ferrets have been used in the White House to eliminate a rat problem. In 1889, Caroline Harrison, wife of President Benjamin Harrison, brought in an army of ferrets to eliminate the hordes of rats. * Freddie, the only ferret anywhere with a steady job as an electrician's assistant. Freddie's bosses tie a length of fishing line to his collar; to the fishing line they attach another length of electrical wiring. Then, while Freddie is held at one end of a piece of pipe designed to protect wires, another man, with a dead rabbit and an air compressor, goes to the other end. The air compressor sends the scent of the dead rabbit down the pipe to Freddie's nose. Released, Freddie runs up the pipe in pursuit of the rabbit, and, simultaneously, lays the wiring. In one morning recently, Freddie laid wiring in 60 pipes, the longest of which was 130 ft. In contract the job would have taken a human electrician a month. * How telegraph wires in London were put through small pipes. A large rat, with a fine steel wire, was put in the pipe. Behind there was thrust a ferret. The rat ran from the ferret a short distance and stopped. It was feared that he would show fright and be killed. But he started on again. He ran through the whole length of the pipe and brought out the wire in good style, though closely pushed by the ferret. The Electrician, 17 May 1884 * Ferrets been known to help lay cables! To prepare for the Millennium Pop Concert in Greenwich Park, a trio of ferrets were used to lay power cables. Fitted with small nylon harnesses attached to a rope, the ferrets ran through a series of tunnels, leading the cables with them. * TV and sound cables were run by ferrets for both the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer * In Britain, ferrets have been used for centuries for hunting rabbits and rodents - typically flushing the victim out of its burrow to be shot by the hunter. Ferreting is still practiced today.
* First Cloned ferrets - named Libby and Lilly - May 2006 (Cloned ferrets produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Developmental Biology 293(2): 439-448. ISSN: 0012-1606. NAL Call Number: 442.8 D49) * Ferrets have been domesticated for thousands of years; in fact, on the walls of some Egyptian tombs there are pictures of ferret-like creatures on leashes. * Some ferrets can sleep so soundly, they cannot be woken up even when picked up and jostled. Some ferret owners have even thought their ferret was sick or had died, only to awaken once they reach the veterinarian office.
* Ferrets are used in many broad areas of research and have been since the early 1900's to study the pathogenesis and treatment in a variety of human disease as animal models in biomedical research, including studies of cardiovascular disease, nutrition, respiratory diseases (such as SARS and human influenza), airway physiology, cystic fibrosis and gastrointestinal disease (such as peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori). Ferrets share many anatomical, metabolic and physiologic features with humans which has promoted their use as an animal model. * Ferret are used in fur farms in other countries to produce fur coats and other fur products. The fur is called "fitch fur" * In the early 1900's, the U S Department of Agriculture issued a farm bulletin advising farmers to use ferrets for rodent extermination in grain storage. * The film Along Came Polly with Jennifer Aniston and a ferret named Rudolfo