By: Leigh Edwards
Most of us in Whistler have met or seen the tireless Weasel workers preparing the World Cup downhill courses, but few of us have had the luck to see the four-legged variety. Unlike Weasel workers (at least as far as we know), real Weasels are tireless carnivores that go on killing sprees to stock up on food for the winter.
Weasels have suffered from bad press for their carnivorous ways, hence the term “you blood-sucking weasel.” In fact, Weasels kill in the same way as cats: by biting their victim at the base of the skull and breaking its neck, quickly and efficiently. They store their food in dens or abandoned burrows and feed primarily on mice, voles, and red squirrels.
Weasels are the most widespread carnivores in North America and the most common species in Whistler is the Long-tailed Weasel. A great place to spot a Long-tailed Weasel is under the Red Chair on Whistler Mountain before dawn. The Weasel is white in the winter so look for a large snake-like shape bounding between trees under the lift line. Good luck seeing this fast little white rascal in the snow!
So next time you think of someone as a “ blood sucking weasel,” think again. Do you really want to insult Weasels? After all, they’re a valuable link to the control of rodents and they don’t suck blood.