The domestic ferret is part of the Mustelidae animal family that includes weasels, badgers, and minks. However, unlike these wild species, they are fully domesticated and would likely starve if released outside. Ferrets have been in captivity for more than 2,000 years and are used as hunting animals in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They have become popular pets over the last decade in the United States.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by James K. Morrisey, DVM, DABVP (Avian)