The Star-News

Furry faces on the illegal side of cute

Tue, Jun 28 2011 01:42 PM Posted By: Nohely Mendoza

The state of California has an extremely long list of exotic animals that are banned from the state, including ferrets.

The furry creatures are domesticated mammals belonging to the weasel family.


Although they are illegal in all parts of California, secretly many people have them as pets; everything from food to bedding to toys for ferrets can be found at any pet store in the state.


Ferrets are illegal in the state because the California Department of Fish and Game says that if let out into the wild, they would mate, multiply, become feral and could threaten native wildlife.


"They are not native species, not native to California, so we try and keep them out," said Andrew Hughan, a Department of Fish and Game employee. "We consider them predators."


However, the department does not actively hunt down ferrets; they act only when someone makes a specific complaint.


Alex Maugeri owns a ferret and says that the animal is not a problem to others.


"Most people are more excited to meet him," said Maugeri. "After they see him, they don't see any reason why they are illegal."


Maugeri also owns a cat and sees their bond as stable; the animals don't fight but they don't play together either.

"My cat usually acts fine, he doesn't know what to think of him. He isn't friendly toward the ferret, but he isn't unfriendly either," Maugeri said.


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