Skiers capture rare and cute footage of ermine popping in and out of the snow

Ermine in snow
(Image credit: Getty Images / Fabrizio Moglia)

Had enough of moose hurtling down ski slopes or elk skidding on ice? Here’s a snowy wildlife encounter with a critter that you don’t see very often on social media. But it makes up for lost Likes by putting on an amazing performance in the snow.

What animal are we talking about? A stoat, or ermine, as they’re called when they change colour from brown to white in the winter. They’re not rare, to be fair. They’re just very rarely spotted. And when you do catch a glimpse, it's often not much more than a quick flash as they streak through the grass in front of you.

So this video, filmed by American kerwynjones2 while out skiing is a genuine wonder to behold. Especially as the ermine seems determined to impress with its acrobatics

Commenter reacting to video were generally downright envious of the skier’s experience (who, if you watch with the audio on, is clearly very, very excited).

“I’ve snowshoed in the mountains for two decades and never seen anything pop out of the snow like this,” says one poster.

Another made it clear how you should always try to keep your distance from a stoat / ermine, no matter how cute they look: “Did you know, if you hold an ermine up to your ear, you can hear what it’s like to be attacked by an ermine?”

The ermine’s winter white coat has long been used in the fur trade. It is the traditional trimming to the robes worn by royalty. In 1937, 50,000 ermine pelts were sent from Canada to England for King George VI's coronation. No wonder they keep themselves to themselves.

They were once trapped in large numbers in the Arctic, Russia and North America but, fortunately for the stoat, in recent times the price of labor to process such tiny pelts has not made hunting worthwhile. Plus, real fur is going out of fashion thankfully.