The hunt continued Sunday for a "depressed" ferret who escaped Disney-style from a Chita circus along with a monkey and a red-breasted parakeet last week.
Hopes were raised Friday that the ferret had been found when Chita resident Ivan Burtsev found a ferret on a city street near the Zabaikalye hotel the night before and brought it to the local zoo.
"He is absolutely tame. He understands how to open doors, and he comes when you tap your leg," Burtsev told news site Chita.ru, adding that he had been aware of the runaway ferret from news reports.
But circus art director Zhanna Lazerson rejected the ferret after examining it at the zoo.
"It's not our ferret," she said, according to Interfax.
Lazerson said earlier that the circus wasn't exactly missing its ferret, calling the animal a "terrible glutton, idle to the core."
She said the ferret, monkey and parakeet fled because they suffered from depression caused by days of nonstop rain in Chita.
The news about the escape has gone viral on the Russian Internet, with many top Russian bloggers posting it and offering sometimes biting commentary on why the animals actually fled. Others have suggested that the escape be made into a Disney or Pixar animated film.
The monkey was found shortly after the escape in a circus doghouse, cuddling with a dog. Both were sound asleep. The parakeet is still on the run.
Twitter blogs have been opened in the names of the two missing animals. In a weekend post, FerretFeelsDown complained, "Look here, even the parakeet is ignoring me :( ."
Weather forecasts indicate that Chita will enjoy only one sunny day this week — Tuesday.
The ferret mistaken for the missing one, however, will keep dry. The zoo has decided to adopt it.