Two baby long-tailed weasels make rare trip to care center in Burlingame

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Two baby long-tailed weasels are being treated after making a rare journey to the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA’s Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame.

Only once before has a weasel been under their care. The baby male and female weasels were found abandoned on a hiking trail in Half Moon Bay and a good Samaritan brought them into PHS/SPCA on April 23. 

“These nocturnal animals are rarely even seen by humans, so we could hardly believe our eyes when these tiny baby long-tailed weasels were brought to our Wildlife Care Center,” said PHS/SPCA’s Communications Manager Buffy Martin Tarbox.  “Even though they are native to the Bay Area, we have only ever admitted one other weasel in our center since we opened our Wildlife Care Center.”

When the two were found their eyes were still closed. The folks who discovered them hung around the scene for a bit, waiting to see if the mother returned. But she never did. Tarbox says the young weasels had no defects or injuries, which can generally rule out that the mother rejected the babies. It’s believed something happened to the mother.

And while there were no injuries, the weasels, who are estimated to be a little over four weeks old now, would not have survived on their own. But since under care, both weasels are coming along nicely. 

“The weasels are doing very well and we expect to release them back into the wild when they reach about eight weeks old,” according to Tarbox. “It’s an honor to rehabilitate these elusive native animals.” 

Though cute to look at, weasels are ferocious predators. They’re very sharp, predatory hunters that will take on larger animals, but they typically go after squirrels, gophers, rats, cottontails and even insects, according to Tarbox. 

The PHS/SPCA expects to return the weasels back into the wild in a few weeks. The Wildlife Care Center successfully rehabilitates 1,200 to 1,400 animals each year and is funded entirely by donations.