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Russian Ferret Society
Russian Ferret Society
Hybrids between Mustelidae. Khonoriks
In 1976-1979 noted russian zoologist Dr. Dmitry Ternovsky from Novosibirsk worked about hybridization between different species of Mustelidae family: furo (Mustela putorius forma furo), wild polecat (Mustela putorius), steppe polecat (Mustela eversmanni), european mink (Mustela (Lutreola) lutreola), siberian weasel (Mustela sibirica) and others. At the result he bred hybrids between furo and steppe polecat (named "khofuter": "kho-" from "horjok" does mean "ferret" and "polecat" in russian + "-fu-" - furo + "-ter" - from Ternovsky), furo and european mink (named "funoter": "fu-"=furo + "-no-"="norka"=mink in russian + "-ter"), siberian weasel and steppe polecat ("kohhosik": "ko-"="kolonok"=siberian weasel = "-ho-"="horjok") and many others. But very famous hybrid was a hybrid between polecat and european mink, named "khonorik". Khonorik was bred in 1978, he parents were hybrid male of polecat (wild x steppe) and female of european mink and thus it was hybrid between three species. Later on were bred khonoriks from pure-blooded wild polecat and european mink.
Khonorik look like to mink and a little to dark sable: black guard hairs, brown undercoat. Ears are significanty larger than ears of a mink and edged by light strip, like have a polecat. Adult khonoriks bigger than their parents. They can swim very good like minks and burrow like a polecats. Their character is very agressive and they domesticate badly. Males of khonoriks have a hybrid sterility whereas females are fertile.
Khonoriks caused a sensation in different exhibitions in many countries, repeatedly were awarded in shows in USSR and popularized by mass communication media because had a original and more qualitative fur than minks. They bred khonoriks in the experimental biological stations and in some fitch farms during some years. But because breeding of these animals was very difficult and population of european mink have reduced, it turned out that breeding beside the purpose and was stopped.
The word "khonorik" sound more attractive and euphonic in russian language than the word "horjok" (i.e. ferret), therefore some ferret vendors tell: "my animals are not ferrets, but khonoriks, a cross between ferret and mink" even now. In addition some journalists show their ignorance and write about ferrets how about khonoriks.


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