Robert Fuller had no clue that the jungle gym and trampoline he had constructed in his yard would be enjoyed by people of all ages.
A family of stoats, hedgehogs, owls, foxes, badgers, and other wild creatures live on the land of the wildlife artist in Thixendale, North Yorkshire.
The little stoats usually kept to themselves, avoiding spending time out in the open. But for the playful animals, the trampoline was too enticing to pass up. “I first noticed a stoat on the trampoline around 2015,” Fuller told The Dodo. “It had been snowing and I followed the stoat’s pawprints all the way up to the trampoline and all over it, too!”
Fuller set up a network of over 80 remote cameras in his garden to follow the lives of these secretive animals and was eventually able to catch a glimpse of the stoats enjoying his trampoline.
“The trampoline was a perfect option for a camera when I constructed my video set-up a few years later, and I quickly had thrilling films of stoats jumping and having fun,” Fuller said. The stoat kits appear to congregate at the trampoline for games and enjoyment! They appear to enjoy the texture of the cloth and utilize it for stretching and especially bouncy playfights.
Here, you can see a young stoat having fun on the trampoline:
The stoat pups utilize the trampoline as a type of training field to hone abilities they’ll need as adults, so it doesn’t only bring out their childhood enthusiasm in them.
The kits have enjoyed playing a stoat-themed version of hide-and-seek and practicing their hunting techniques on the entire children’s climbing frame, according to Fuller.
The stoats have since taken over the entire jungle gym, but they do share it on occasion with owls, badgers and other animals.
Fuller doesn’t mind sharing either — he’s just happy that he accidentally created the perfect habiat for his wild neighbors.