In his prime Bandit the ferret went on more adventures than most of his human counterparts could dream of. Until 2019 and with owner Charlie Hammerton, the furry mammal has been crisscrossing Europe, North America and even the Arctic Circle—all in the interests of supporting causes related to mental health.
Those charities have been especially important to Hammerton, a Royal Air Force veteran who left the military in 2017 due to PTSD. He's also an advocate for more research into ALS, which claimed his mother's life. Then there's his campaign in favor of drug safety, given that he suffered addiction issues in his teen years.
More than a buddy on the road
Enter Bandit, a rather fetching mammal Hammerton picked up at an animal rescue facility bac in 2015. He had since turned out to be more than a travelling companion. He'd become a buzz hub on social media, where posts of the ferret at various locations in their travels have become irresistible to loyal followers. Bandit's also been a lifesaver to Hammerton, whose personal dark days became a lot brighter with the little guy around.
Whether via van, plane or simply hitchhiking, Banner has been instrumental in raising funds for Hammerton, who's usually been asked to do speaking engagements at almost every stop they make.
"It's not just a guy and a ferret with a weird story," said Hammerton to USA Today. "There was more to their journeys than just a man and his best ferret friend seeing the world, though that was certainly part of the experience.
Bandit's legacy to be captured in print
Sadly, that legacy ended in 2019 after the two finished a European junket. Bandit, at the ripe old age of eight, died later that year. Hammerton is currently putting together a collection of memoirs into a book to document their adventures together. His favorite ferret is also immortalized in the name of Hammerton's latest venture, Adventure Bandits, a company geared towards teaching children outdoor and life skills.