An unusual visitor has been found snooping around the Lancashire Archives in Preston.
On Thursday (April 25), staff at Lancashire Archives in Bow Lane, near County Hall, spotted what they initially believed to be a soft toy on the floor near the delivery entrance.
But staff were startled when the furtive visitor suddenly burst into motion.
David Tilsley, senior archivist at Lancashire County Council described the strange encounter.
"We found an unexpected visitor ferreting around in our archives", said Mr Tilsley.
"At midday yesterday, we were expecting a big delivery of records into Lancashire Archives.
"There was a knock on the door from the delivery man. I opened the door and we spoke for just a few seconds, we came in and the delivery guy looked at the floor and said "what on earth is that!?
"And before I had chance to think, "what is a stuffed ferret doing down here...the ferret moved.
"Why we had a live ferret down here nobody knows.
"We think it snuck in just as I opened the door, but since then we've been keeping it safe, waiting for the RSPCA to arrive.
"We've been keeping it fed and watered. Does this furry fellow belong to anyone?"
Lancashire County Council is now trying to trace the owner of the pet and the RSPCA have been informed.
If you recognise the ferret and have information on who it belongs to, please contact Lancashire Archives on 0300 123 6701