INCREDIBLY RARE COLUMBIAN WEASEL FIRST PHOTOGRAPHED ON A MAN’S TOILET
So this is one of those totally weird ones. Have you ever heard of the Columbian weasel? Me neither, till now. But that picture is the first, ever, taken of a living Columbian weasel. That little guy is one of the rarest carnivores in all of South America. Before the above, the only pictures ever taken were of dead weasels. But no, really. No one with a camera to hand had ever been able to take a picture of one of these wily critters. So like I said, this is a weird one. But why? Well, as you can see, that first ever live Columbian Weasel picture was on a man’s toilet! How’s that for making history?
BELIEVED TO BE EXTINCT, THIS PICTURE CREATES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
So the Columbian weasel is the smallest breed of weasel found anywhere in all of South America. Before that picture, only six, dead, specimens have ever been found. So we know it exists. But we never see them, alive. In fact, scientists believed that this animal had to be extinct. But there one was, on a man’s toilet seat. So here’s what happened. The architect Juan M de Roux went to visit his parent’s country home back in 2011. The family was working on replacing the floor and reworking the roof as well. So that’s how the weasel got inside and then found itself trapped.
PHOTOGRAPHER HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE HAD FOUND UNTIL LATER, SCIENTISTS EXCITED
Juan saw the weasel there with some surprise, saying it “moved frantically.” But it also released a defense odor that smelled “sort of like urine or musky.” But Juan wisely quickly snapped several photos of the weasel, on the toilet and moving inside the bathroom. Then he left the door open, allowing the weasel to get back outside to freedom. Juan uploaded the pictures to the iNaturalist app, which assists users in identifying all sorts of creatures. At first, he assumed it was a more common, long-tailed weasel. But he later found a paper talking about the much rarer Columbian weasel and he realized what he had discovered on the toilet.
So far, that’s most of what we know about this reclusive creature. Scientists have almost no information about their lives and behavior. So look out for what you might find on your country home toilet seat!