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Baby eaten by pet ferrets

30 January 2015, 10:34

US: Three ferrets attacked an unattended baby strapped into a car seat and reportedly ate parts of the one-month-old girl’s face, leading to the baby’s parents facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child, according to NBCPhiladelphia.com.

The parents of five children, Burnie Fraim, 42, and 24-year-old Jessica Benales were each charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child after their pet ferrets ate their baby’s nose, upper lip and cheeks.

Social services failure?

The child was attacked in the living room of the couple’s home after three pet ferrets escaped a mesh cage. A subsequent investigation found the house to be lacking in food and infested with insects. In addition, both the parents and all five of their children have developmental disabilities, and three social services agencies were monitoring them at the time of the attack.

The father claimed that it wasn’t their fault, laying the blame squarely on the ferrets. He told the local TV news station that the baby looked like it “didn’t have a face”.

Local police say that the baby will survive. The ferrets were all destroyed.

Pets and babies

A family pet that has previously shown no sign of aggression may respond differently when a baby arrives on the scene.

Also see: CUTE VIDEO: Dog teaches baby to crawl

If the pet presents a danger to the baby, it should be kept separate to the child and gradually introduced (if at all). Some pets are not suitable when it comes to direct interaction, including an animal which has an aggressive nature/history of attacking children or adults. Venomous snakes and other exotic pets may also not be suitable around babies.

Some pets are too sensitive/small to be around very young children as they may be injured when handled or they may be inadvertently trodden on.

Of course, it is possible to train a dog, for example, to be able to assimilate a baby into the household, just as a child needs to be shown how to handle a pet.

If in doubt, always take precautions to protect your child and pet against harm.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Health24


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