A grandmother was left bleeding and in agony after she was mauled by a ferret that leapt onto her mobility scooter.   Florence Taylor, 86, was left housebound after the animal came ‘out of the blue’ and pounced when she was on her way to the shops.   It sunk its razor sharp teeth into the heel of her left foot and hung on for several minutes, Mrs Taylor said.   The former dinner lady, who has a heart condition, was only able to fight the ferret off by thrashing it with her walking stick with the help of a neighbour. The creature then scuttled down an alley and has not been seen since.

It is not known where the ferret came from or if it was wild or kept as a pet.

The grandmother of ten, from Bingham, Nottinghamshire, said: ‘It was the last thing I expected after popping down the shops. It just came out of the blue and sank its fangs into my leg

‘My shoe was full of blood. It was very scary – I just didn’t know what to do. I gave it a hefty whack with my walking stick but it didn’t do much good.

‘You hear about people being bitten by a dog – but not really a ferret. Maybe it was trying to get up my trouser leg like they say they like to do. It was scary and I’ve never felt pain like it, they’ve got pretty sharp teeth. It was a very traumatic experience.’

After the attack Mrs Taylor called her daughter, who dressed the wound.

The pensioner then went to her GP where she was given a tetanus injection and a course of antibiotics. She was left unable to walk for several days.

Mrs Taylor is prescribed blood thinning drug Warfarin – which means her blood has difficulty clotting, and she bleeds for longer if she cuts herself.

She added: ‘I do all my own shopping and usually go round to a friend’s every morning but I haven’t been able to since.

‘I will definitely be wary when I do go out.’

She is now too scared to leave the house as she fears the animal, which she believes escaped from someone’s house, has now got a ‘taste for her blood’.

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 added: ‘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.’

Graham Harrison, 52 who lives on Hill Drive where the incident took place has two ferrets, but said that his were locked away.

He added: ‘They are quite friendly as I handle them every day – they are pets. It couldn’t have been them though – it must have been a wild one to attack someone like that.’

Mrs Taylor said she thought the police didn’t believe them. ‘They said if it’s a dog then we would come out – but not for a ferret,’ she said.

Ferrets generally 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.’

Nottinghamshire police said it was not a criminal matter. The RSPCA also said it was not something they would deal with.

Residents in the nearby area expressed their shock at the attack yesterday.

Mike Rand, 69, said: ‘It’s surprising, I have never heard anything like it. You just don’t expect it.’

While hairdresser Jade Shields, 16, added: ‘Where on earth did it come from? I would have been very scared.’