• 2 scoops of crazy
  • 1 sneaky pest
  • An edible cage
  • ‘Thyme’ wasted trying to catch 2 tayras*See what I done there?


A tayra is something like a large ferret, a very large ferret and we have two of them. One is called Camote and Camote is an escapologist.

As my evening draws to a close and my last chores of the night come to an end I receive news that a tayra has been spotted on the road close to quarantine being hounded by two dogs. Our tayra we quickly assume and quite probably our dogs too. The alarm is raised.

I assemble the troops (volunteers) and we descend en mass towards quarantine armed with torches and flashlights. Eventually he strolls right up to one of the refuges owners and into her arms *wild animal that he is- and into a small holding cage he goes until morning when we can find out exactly how he managed to get out of his enclosure.

Now my delicate task for the next few days is to convince the volunteers who really did nothing wrong, that the other owner who was clearly heard blaming them and calling them stupid over the radio didn’t really mean what he said and spoke merely in the heat of the moment on hearing that one of his massive rats had gotten loose.

That night I woke to the sound of screaming voices outside my door.


Camote not only got free from his holding cage but slipped inside the Bolivian girl’s bedroom the second they opened their door. Here we go.

Queue a half-naked man turning a bedroom upside down to catch what’s essentially an otter sized ferret.

Often I’d forget to inform my poor wee volunteers of the hazards borne from the wearing of wellie boots. Yes, some fool in the month’s pre-Andy thought a great plan was to fill an old wellie boot full of tasty treats for our fuzzy fellows.

“Andy, my God! You’ll never guess what just happened to Sean in the Tyra’s enclosure”!

If he wore high boots then I already know. Oops!

How often would it slip my mind about the wearing of all things red while in their presence?


I know.

The day would finally come for an almost tearful farewell to our two wily ones.

Two hours it took to catch that second tayra. Furry little rodent ran rings round us the whole morning, bit through both my wellie boots and almost took my hand off too but eventually in the pissing rain and soaked the bone, we caught her.

I sag down like a drowned rat and joke of how funny it would be if one of them escaped during their trip to La Paz where they’re due to start a new life in the zoo with fellow mentalist tayras. Ten minutes later while changing into clean, dry work clothes in my cabin I hear through my walkie talkie something frantic in Spanish about tayras, quarantine and escape.. Then comes the peep, peep, peeping of a car horn.

So it happened! Camote, the incredibly friendly one and not the boot bustin mental one, has bitten through his cage and after his scramble across the dashboard inside a moving vehicle, managed to squeeze his way through an open window and down a steep embankment towards the river. All of this on the infamous aptly named Death Road! We set out to find him in the pissing rain and I´m not as amused as I should be.

I point out that myself and the vets alongside me take on the appearance of the Telletubies due to the colors of rain coats worn along with my quickly sodden green jumper and finally get given the more attractive position of look out from within the confines and shelter of the quarantine where Camote is quite likely to return. I must take Yuka with me and make damned sure she doesn’t escape too.

I´m cold, I´m hungry and I´m thinking that I´m not such a huge fan of tayras anymore when my walkie cracks into life and I understand something about tayras near the river with one of our vets close to quarantine. Could it be that I can have something to eat today? I don´t hold my breath and just then.. BOOM! Camote!

YASSSS! He´s returned, they´ve caught him and returned him. They take the cage with Yuka too and head down to the larger enclosure from where they started this morning and return five minutes later with empty cages. I can´t believe they released them again. That whole morning wasted for absolutely nothing. Looking forward to doing that again * Searching for the sarcasm key-.

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1 Comment

  • Rob Gillan Posted May 29, 2017 10:16 pm

    Haha great post man, loved it. Man I’ve been taking about making a keyboard with a sarcasm lock for a while I think someone needs to do it, I’m sure it would catch on


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