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Mike Harris, National Ferret Welfare Association
"Ferrets have a natural instinct to go through tunnels"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 29 December, 1999, 14:57 GMT
Ferrets save millennium concert

Party animals: Beckham, Posh and Baby


A group of highly trained ferrets has been recruited to save a millennium pop concert in London.

When millions of people watch coverage of the Party in the Park concert in Greenwich on Millennium Eve, they can thank a team of "electricians" lent by the National Ferret Association.

The concert organisers have hired the ferrets to lay TV, lighting and sound cables along the tunnels under the stage in Greenwich Park - a novel way to get around the high cost of electricians' wages over the millennium period.



Americans used them to lay cable inside oil pipelines and they are regularly used to install cables inside houses under floorboards
National Ferret School director James Mackay
The unusual engineering solution was called for because organisers found it impossible to use rods to push the cables through the tiny tunnels which snake about underground.

Using tiny nylon harnesses, the cables are rigged up to the ferrets which are then encouraged down the tunnel entrance, sometimes by putting a bit of meat at the other end.

James Mackay, Director of the National Ferret School, said: "Ferrets were used to lay the TV cable for use during the broadcast of the festivities of Charles and Diana's wedding in the Royal parks.

"Americans used them to lay cable inside oil pipelines and they are regularly used to install cables inside houses under floorboards."

The concert, starring Simply Red, The Eurythmics, Bryan Ferry and the London Symphony Orchestra, should now be able to go ahead on New Year's Eve.

Ferrets, widely used for hunting rabbits, have a reputation for speeding through tunnels.

Ferret racing - where the animals race along segments of piping - is popular in many parts of the UK.

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See also:
29 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Hucknall's race against time
04 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Eurythmics plan millennium gig
02 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
BBC's all-star millennium bash
23 Dec 99 |  Sci/Tech
Feline bleeper saves the birds
29 Jul 99 |  South Asia
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