35 endangered black-footed ferrets are being returned to Wyoming, reports The Topeka Capitol-Journal. The species was for a time believed to be extinct. Then, 35 years ago, a few of the critters were rediscovered in the wild on two ranches in the western part of the state. The Wyoming ferrets are just a few of the 220 captive-bred ferrets that will be released this year across the High Plains. Besides Wyoming, ferrets will be released in Montana, Colorado and Kansas.
The animals were raised in captivity at a facility outside Fort Collins in northern Colorado. Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal and resemble masked robbers. According to the Capital-Journal, they “easily rank among the most charismatic endangered species.”
They live in vast colonies, like prairie dogs, and have partly become endangered due to poison from ranchers.