Vivian Miller posted the question to the “Thurston County, Wa – Just Because“ Facebook Group on Monday night. Her parents found the small animal behind there TV. It wasn’t hurt, but seemed stuck. Her parents’ house cats were paying close attention.
“I’m thinking ferret, but it’d be weird to come inside and the neighbors aren’t that close for it to be lost,” Miller said in her post.
Within minutes, the post was loaded with explanations. Many settled on mink, given Miller’s parent’s proximity to wetlands.
Members of the weasel family
Members of the weasel family
Least weasel (Mustela nivalis) hunting in woodland. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
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Long Tailed Weasel resting on boardwalk with stare.
A weasel eats coffee berries at the Hiep Chat farm in Cang village, located in Vietnam's northwestern province of Son La, 320 km (199 miles) from Hanoi October 4, 2011. Farmer Dinh Cong Hiep and his daughter Dinh Thi Thanh, an IT programmer, established the farm in 2010 to breed weasels to make "weasel coffee", similar to Indonesia's Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee. The digested berries are later collected and roasted by Hiep and Thanh. REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM - Tags: AGRICULTURE ANIMALS FOOD SOCIETY BUSINESS)
A wild polecat yawns during the World Zoo exhibition in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk January 10, 2010. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin (RUSSIA - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY)
A river otter plays with a soccer ball in its lagoon at the Santa Fe Zoo in Medellin June 9, 2010. REUTERS/Fredy Amariles (COLOMBIA - Tags: SOCIETY ANIMALS)
A little boy watches an otter in an aquarium at Prague's Zoo during a warm day March 6, 2007. REUTERS/Petr Josek(CZECH REPUBLIC)
An Asian short-clawed otter eats a fish in its enclosure at Chester Zoo in Chester, northern England, January 5, 2012. The smallest of the world's otter species are part of a breeding programme at the zoo as they are classed as being vulnerable in the wild. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A romp of Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) gather near a stream in their enclosure at the Night Safari in Singapore March 7, 2012. The smallest of the world's otter species are classed as being vulnerable in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. REUTERS/Tim Chong (SINGAPORE - Tags: ANIMALS)
SOUTH TANGERANG, Sept. 8, 2017 -- A man plays with a weasel during Indonesia Pets Expo 2017 in South Tangerang, Indonesia, Sept. 8, 2017. This event held from Sept. 8 to 10 focuses on the health and medical aspects of animals and related industries. (Xinhua/Agung Kuncahya B. via Getty Images)
ITALY - MARCH 03: Stoat or Short-tailed weasel in summer livery (Mustela erminea), Mustelidae, Aosta Valley, Italy. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - MARCH 03: Stoat or Short-tailed weasel in summer livery (Mustela erminea), Mustelidae. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Stoat / ermine (Mustela erminea) in winter coat. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
Stoat / short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea) looking for prey in meadow. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
Stoat / Ermine (Mustela erminea) in winter coat in the snow in winter, Denmark. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
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Jason Cox of Suburban Landscape Maintenance told Q13 News he was working down the street from the home and volunteered to get the animal out. It appeared the animal was chasing small rodents or was perhaps lured from the nearby wetlands by warmth on a cold day.
“With the colder weather it found its way indoors,” Cox said. “It found itself trapped behind the TV stand.”
Cox removed the critter, which he said had a little bit of white on his body, and stood on his hind legs as Cox approached. He released it on the property near the wetlands.
Cox gets a lot of calls to help with trapped cats, but has never seen this particular kind of animal.
“The cats were pretty intrigued with it,” he said, laughing.
Q13 News emailed pictures of the mammal to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for help with identification.