The small mammal was once thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in Wyoming forty-one years ago. Since then, the Game and Fish has been working on their recovery.

Last week the Wyoming Game and Fish released eighteen black-footed ferrets on historic recovery sites near Meeteetse, according to a news release. They coaxed twelve males and six females into burrows in their new wild lands home.

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The ferrets were captive-born. They were released on private land. The Game and Fish said, "Partnerships with landowners in Wyoming have been key to the species recovery efforts."

Game and Fish and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the black-footed ferrets on private land. Partnerships with landowners in Wyoming have been key to the species recovery efforts.

“The Lazy BV and Pitchfork ranches are dedicated to black-footed ferrets and their success,” said Zack Walker, Game and Fish nongame supervisor. “Much of what we’ve been able to accomplish for ferrets at the Meeteetsee recovery site is due to their considerable support, of which we’re grateful and appreciative.”

Walker observed during summer surveys "that [the] ferrets are doing well."

“We saw an increased number of female ferrets on the landscape this year which is why more males were released,” Walker said.

Walker said Game and Fish will continue to carefully monitor the population. One concern is plague —  a common disease that impacts prairie dogs, the main food source for black-footed ferrets, as well as the ferrets themselves. Any wildborn ferrets captured are vaccinated against the disease, as well as distemper.

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