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BLACK-FOOTED FERRET

Scientific Name: mustela nigripes
Order
Carnivora (Carnivorous mammals)

Family
Mustelidae (badgers, otters, skunks, weasels, and relatives)

Habitat & Range
The black-footed ferret was once found throughout the eastern and southern Rockies and the Great Plains. It is currently found in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming as well as Chihuahua, Mexico. It often makes its homes in abandoned prairie dog burrows.

FIND ME AT EPZ
Name: ALFREDO (male); RUPEE (female); CYAN (female)
Location: South end of the Zoo; adjacent to prairie dog exhibit
Born: Alfredo - 05/28/2008; Rupee - 06/16/2010; Cyan - 06/02/2008
Arrived at EPZ: Alfredo - 11/29/2013; Rupee - 03/05/2014; Cyan - 09/22/2010
 
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Identification
The black-footed ferret has a very long body with short legs. The fur is beige with a black or gray wash on its back. It is about 2 feet in length and weighs 2 to 3 pounds. It has black markings on the feet, around the eyes and on the tip of the tail.

Diet
The diet of a black-footed ferret varies based on geographic location. The primary source of food is the prairie dog, but may also consist of mice, gophers, squirrels or birds.

Reproduction & Lifespan
The lifespan of a black-footed ferret is 3 to 4 years in the wild and up to 9 years in captivity.

Fantastic Fact
Night Owl
The black-footed ferret is a nocturnal creature whose above ground activity primarily takes place between dusk and midnight or 4:00 AM and mid-morning.

 
 
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