A grandmother was left bleeding and shaken after being attacked by a ferret while she rode her mobility scooter. Florence Taylor, 86, was on her way to the shops when the animal jumped into the scooter. It bit her leg and hung on with its teeth piercing her flesh. Mrs Taylor forced the ferret off, with the help of a neighbour, by beating it with her walking stick, but she was left in agony. She said the animal was hanging on to her leg for several minutes.
The grandmother of ten, from Bingham, said: "Both of us were trying to knock it off but I could see its teeth hanging on. "It was a traumatic experience." Mrs Taylor has a heart condition and also takes blood-thinning drug warfarin after being treated for clots on her lungs. She said: "My shoe was full of blood. It was very scary – I didn't know what to do." After her daughter arrived and dressed the injury, the pensioner went to her GP where she was given a tetanus injection and a course of antibiotics.
Mrs Taylor was unable to walk for several days. She said: "I do all my own shopping and usually go round to a friend's every morning but I haven't been able to since. She added: "I will definitely be wary when I do go out." Mrs Taylor's neighbour, who helped fend off the ferret, did not want to be named, but said: "I noticed something darting around her scooter. I was very surprised. There was a pool of blood on the road." The 57-year-old said: "I was just trying to bat it away – it was bizarre. It's a bit worrying – imagine if it had attacked a child. You just don't expect these things."
Residents of Bingham were shocked by the attack. Valerie White, 65, of Landale Grove, said: "It's really worrying – I just hope she is OK." Mike Rand, 69, of Orchard Avenue said: "It's surprising, I have never heard anything like it. You just don't expect it." Hairdresser Jade Shields, 16, said: "Where on earth did it come from? I would have been very scared." Ferrets have a reputation as pleasant creatures. Andy Handley , chairman of the British Ferret Club, said: "It's not something I have come across often. They only bite generally if they are frightened. If they do bite because they are scared they will sink their teeth in and stay locked on." Notts Police said it was not a criminal matter. The RSPCA also said it was not something they would deal with.