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This is what happened when a family from Easton near Woodbridge found a polecat in their piano

When a Suffolk woman posted on Twitter about what she believed could be someone's pet ferret stuck in her piano, she didn't expect to receive hundreds of replies, or to find out so much about polecats.

It all started when Pippa Banham, of Easton, near Woodbridge , heard a "scrabbling" noise coming from her piano yesterday morning.

"We live in the countryside so I just thought it was a mouse," Pippa said.

Pippa Banham shared this photo of her daughter with a polecat they found in their piano in their Suffolk home (40847909)
Pippa Banham shared this photo of her daughter with a polecat they found in their piano in their Suffolk home (40847909)

"I looked in there and thought 'oh my goodness, it's a raccoon', and then I thought 'that's silly, it's not a raccoon', so I tried to sort of get a better look."

It was at this point that Pippa started thinking it could be a ferret – but as she tried to get it out, it went further up into the piano.

She then turned to the RSPCA who suggested wearing gloves as they can be "nippy".

Pippa also contacted nearby Easton Farm Park but they said it had not come from their premises, as they no longer keep ferrets.

It was around about this time that Pippa posted on Twitter asking if anyone in the Framlingham, or Suffolk, area had lost a ferret – a tweet that has since been liked more than 1,000 times, with hundreds of comments in response.

When she had tried for "quite some time" to release the animal using a broom handle, she then made use of some crutches which she had as her son has recently broken his leg.

"Then finally I had asked my daughter to help me – I was holding up the piano and with the crutch, she was trying to tease it, when suddenly it came out," Pippa said.

"She kind of grabbed it and I said 'brilliant, well done, I'm going to take a picture'.

"She was like 'are you kidding me', as she was holding this thing at arm's length. It didn't struggle, it just looked at me."

Pippa added that her daughter was a "hero" for catching the "smelly" animal, which can bite.

The polecat was then put inside a travel cage, which the family normally use for their two dogs, while they were waiting for the RSPCA to arrive.

"It just sort of slipped through the bars and went out, back into nature," Pippa said.

She said, despite the "shock" of the situation, it was actually a bit of an enlightening experience.

"It was a really lovely creature. It was actually a bit of privilege to get such a good look at it," Pippa added.

"Now I know all about polecats – I didn't know about them before but the numbers had really declined, they were persecuted as 'chicken killers'."

According to The Wildlife Trusts, the polecat is "known for its bandit-like appearance" and "was once so persecuted it was on brink of extinction in the UK".

Their website adds: "Thankfully, numbers are now increasing in rural Wales and parts of England."

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

Read more: All the latest news from Woodbridge