November 21, 2016
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD – Nine black-footed ferrets have new homes after being released at Wind Cave National Park. These ferrets, raised at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in northern Colorado, will augment the park’s estimated ferret population of 25 to 30 animals.
“This release is part of a national effort to bring this animal back from near extinction,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “Wind Cave National Park has a long history of reintroducing animals, starting with bison in 1913 and then elk and pronghorn. In 2007, this legacy continued when we received 49 black-footed ferrets. ”
Black-footed ferrets are considered one of the rarest animals in North America. Thought to be extinct, in 1981 a population was discovered on a Wyoming ranch. Since then the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service has worked to bring the population back from near extinction and has reintroduced ferrets to 28 sites across the west.
A nocturnal animal that lives in prairie dog towns, it is rarely seen above ground in the daylight. For video of the release, visit: https://youtu.be/N_qpAdbtCfg