Stoatally adorable kits rescued

Six young stoats saved after their mother is found dead on the road.

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Animal welfare officers in Scotland are looking after five to six week old kits that were found in North Kessock at the end of May.

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The youngsters were discovered on a road next to their dead mother and taken to the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross.

“They are all feeding themselves and we’re going to move them to a large outdoor enclosure soon,” said centre manager, Colin Seddon. “We’ll release them back into the wild as a group when they are fully independent.”

The six stoats have been named after the six characters from the US comedy show, Friends – Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler.

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The six kits have been named after characters from Friends © SPCA

“They look very cute and cuddly now,” said Seddon, “but when they’re fully grown they will be a predator to other wildlife.”

Stoats are members of the mustelid family, and related to weasels, otters and badgers.

They are one of the smallest mammalian predators in the UK, feeding on rats and even rabbits, which are killed with a bite to the base of the skull. 

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Once the kits are independent they can be released back into the wild © SPCA

How to tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel

Understand stoat behaviour

Stoat gallery by Vincent Rillardon

Watch this video of a cute otter cub rescued after Storm Doris

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Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine