Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A Maine woman said an animal initially believed to be a rat and later thought to be an escaped ferret was eventually discovered to be a weasel in her ceiling.
Kassondra Dale said she feared there was an unwanted rodent in her Bangor apartment when she heard something running on the ceiling tiles.
"Originally, we heard [this animal] in my ceiling and we thought she was a rat," Dale told the Bangor Daily News. "And then she poked her head out from one of the ceiling tiles that we had taken out."
Dale said the brief glimpse led her and her landlord to suspect the animal was someone's escaped pet ferret.
They set a live trap for the animal, and soon discovered it was actually an ermine, a type of short-tailed weasel.
"Weasels are naturally very curious and do wander from time to time into people's houses, perhaps searching for mice. Their small size allows them to get into nooks and crannies," Webb wrote.
The Ferret Association of Connecticut said it is not uncommon for wild weasels to be mistaken for ferrets.
"File under cases of mistaken ferret identity!" the association said of Dale's case. "Happens frequently. A well-meaning ACO brought FACT some lovely mink youngsters who she thought were abandoned ferrets. ID giveaways? They were happily living by a brook & were not keen on humans."
Dale said her saga didn't end with the animal being identified.
"The kicker of the story was that we caught her, called the landlord, and he came in and picked her up," she said. "He didn't even have her a minute before she got out of the cage."
She said the ermine gave her a couple scars to remember it by.
"I thought it was a ferret, so I put my knuckle a bit into [the cage] ... She bit me twice," Dale said. "I'm glad I didn't put my whole finger in there."
The ermine was turned over to animal control.
"I'm assuming [the animal control officer] took her deep into the woods, where she is supposed to be," Dale said.