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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 13:08 GMT
Ferrets fly south for winter
Ferrets
Ferrets are hard to get in Cyprus
Two ferrets have been flown overseas from Lincolnshire on a "mercy mission" with a difference.

The ferrets - named Bubble and Squeak - have been delivered to American woman Cyndi Ioannou, who lives in Cyprus.

The baby ferrets are a replacement for Ms Ioannou's own ferret, Giggles, which died following an operation.

She was having difficulties replacing Giggles because no other ferrets were available on the island.

Ferret saviour

It is a devastating thing when you lose a pet

Julie Stoodley

Ms Ioannou's saviour was Julie Stoodley, from Sleaford Ferret Rescue in Lincolnshire.

Ms Stoodley, 40, who flew to Cyprus for the handover on Wednesday, said she was delighted to have helped.

"It is a devastating thing when you lose a pet, but for this lady she couldn't replace this ferret because there just weren't any more.

"I just thought wouldn't it be fantastic if we could help her out and one thing led to another and we went to work to see how we could get the babies over to her."

Pet researchers

Dr June McNicholas and Dr Glyn Collis, from the University of Warwick, were also involved in the mercy mission thanks to their research on people's relationships with pets.

They put Ms Ioannou in touch with Ms Stoodley.

The researchers looked at the health benefits of owning a pet, the support they offer older people and the rise in ownership of ferrets and rabbits.

They also looked at the reactions of people whose pet had died and their eagerness to find a new companion.


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See also:

15 Jul 02 | England
05 Apr 02 | England
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