Excitingly I was fortunate to film what appears to be a Polecat at the caravan hide the other evening. The image is a still from 5 seconds of infrared footage on a camera trap. I had seen that parts of a rabbit carcass had been taken the other evening and I assumed that a fox would be responsible, which I was pleased about anyway because it would mean that at least one fox had escaped the recent culling of them. I re-baited the next night and placed a camera trap next to the bait. When I checked the files the following day it was a shock to discover the culprit was a Polecat. I have done some internet searching and discovered that Polecats are spreading rapidly and are known to breed here in East Devon now. In 2010 after a survey they were thought to still be absent here but by 2015 their presence had been confirmed. Dead roadkill animals locally, as recently as 2014 turned out to be true Polecas. I say true Polecats because of the obvious difficulty of separating true Polecats with the domesticated Ferret. Genetically, Ferrets and Polecats are identical so they do obviously interbreed. Regardless of this Ferret/Polecat distraction, I am massively excited and thrilled that a Polecat like animal took bait from next to the caravan. Obviously, I set up the cameras again the next night and I was hopeful that the animal would return. However, I could not believe it when I had recorded one of the Buzzards, just before dark, had come down on to the back step of the caravan and taken the bait. Can you believe that a Buzzard would come down literally 6 inches from the caravan door? No - neither can I. On the picture above, it looks as though the animal is white but this is just reflection on the infrared camera. Going back to the confusion between polecats and ferrets, we need to use the terms phenotype and genotype. Phenotype means that two animals look identical, genotype mean that two animals share the same genes. Polecats and Ferrets are always genotypical but they are not always phenotypical. Ferrets - domestic polecats in other words were bred and interbred for light pelts - this helps the ferret handler find his animal when he is hunting with it, the animal is easier to see if it is white not brown! When and if a domesticated ferret escapes back in to the wild and goes feral it can then interbreed with the wild polecat population and the resultant kits would be genetically identical to the wild Polecat and therefore share the same genotype, but phenotypically they could differ. In other words, you may see the young animals inheritance. But, it is no less a Polecat. This is all very messy unfortunately. Another massive "cockup" caused by our uneducated and unthinking forefathers! The same mess is happening and has happened with the Scottish Wildcat but in a more catastrophic way.