Ferrets are obligate (true) carnivores subsisting in the wild on small prey, and have the ability to digest bones, feathers and fur.
The Missouri parents whose four-month-old son had its fingers chewed off by a pet ferret
earlier this year have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child
Ryan Waldo, 33, and his wife, Carrie Waldo, 25, initially told police that they were sleeping at home in the wee hours of January 10 when the ferret ate off seven of their child's fingers.
But where were the Waldos, really?
Cell phone records uncovered by the prosecution suggest the couple was away from their Grain Valley home during the bloodbath, texting from various locations while the ferret made a meal of their baby.
As Daily RFT reported the day after the tragedy
, police were called to the couple's home last summer to investigate a complaint that the parents had left their kids unattended.
The couple also reportedly told police that the ferret had never attacked before. That's not true, according to prosecutors, who say that the couple told others that they wanted to get rid of the ferret for previously biting their baby.
Ferrets have been known to attack infants before, perhaps confusing babies with suckling rabbits. Reports range from ferrets eating the noses and ears off infants
to actually killing a child.
In the end of this tragic story, it was the Waldos' ferret that was killed, with Ryan Waldo reportedly hurling the animal against a dishwasher. The Waldos' two children -- the baby and a sibling -- have since been removed from the parents' custody.