The four black-footed ferret (BFF) kits born in CMZoo’s conservation center are getting curious about the world around them! This weekend, conservation keepers noticed Sriracha’s four 10-week-old kits peeking out of the den during dinner time. Confidence and curiosity are important traits of successful BFFs. Practicing quick movements like pouncing, running, batting, and even getting the zoomies help the kits learn how to hunt and interact in the wild.
BFFs are endangered, and it’s easy to see why they have become ambassadors of the prairie ecosystem. With their black-and-white bandit-esque markings, small stature and curious demeanor, many consider this species adorable. That’s true; but they’re also highly trained hunters with a big job: restoring balance in their ecosystem while helping their own species recover from near extinction. Luckily, the ‘Ghosts of the Prairie’ have some help.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife and other organizations have banded together to breed, prepare, release and monitor black-footed ferrets to increase the population. Numbers fluctuate, but recent reports estimate 350 BFFs are thriving in the wild, thanks to this program.
Since 1991, when CMZoo established its breed-and-release black-footed ferret program, the team has bred 589 BFF kits. Some remain with zoos that support the Species Survival Plan. Others go to a conditioning center for ‘BFF boot camp’ before being released into the wild. The futures of these four kits is yet to be determined, but we’ll keep you posted!
Learn more about black-footed ferret conservation