The weasel is Britain's smallest carnivore and belongs to the same family as the stoat and otter. It is a fierce hunter and is usually only spotted as a long, thin tan-coloured streak as it dashes across a road or woodland path.

Weasels and humans

Cats, owls, foxes and birds of prey will all try to kill weasels, although a weasel will fight hard to defend itself. Humans have persecuted weasels over the years particularly in areas where pheasants and partridges are reared; gamekeepers and farmers have always regarded weasels as vermin and trapped them in large numbers. In fact, since one weasel may eat hundreds of mice in a year, it should be looked on as a useful friend, doing more good than harm!

Many weasels are killed on the roads too, but despite the dangers they face from humans, they are still quite common and are under no threat as a species.

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