You Can Watch Adorable and Endangered Ferrets Grow Up Live
Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: May 17, 2020 9:34 pm
Photo Credit: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
The endangered black footed ferret has received a boost to its population with the birth of 6 kits at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and you can watch them grow up from the comfort of your home.
Mother Potpie gave birth to the kits on the morning of mother’s day, May 10. They are the first black footed ferrets born at the SCBI this year.
Their father, Denver arrived at SCBI in 2018 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s (USFWS) Ferret Center in Colorado on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoo’s and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan.
Potpie and Denver are both second time parents having produced a total of 12 kits in 2019 but these were with different mates. Potpie is one of 19 females housed at the SCBI and it is expected that more of these will give birth in the coming weeks.
At birth the kits were blind and weighed less than 10 grams. As they grow their eyes will open by 35 days old and 5 days later they will start to explore outside. It will be four months before they wean from mum.
You can watch the kits develop on the SCBIs new ferret cam. This black and white noiseless camera allows watchers to see the black footed ferrets grow up without interfering with their development.
Watch the live stream here – SCBI Ferret Cam
Until they were rediscovered in Wyoming in 1981 it was believed that this species was extinct. Since their rediscovery a range of conservation measures, including the managed breeding program these kits are part of, have led to them becoming more numerous.
The SCBI has been highly successful in breeding black footed ferrets with over 960 born as part of their program.
These kits may move to another zoo to continue as part of the breeding program or they may be prepared for release back to the wild.
Learn more about black footed ferrets here – Black Footed Ferret | The Animal Facts
Learn more about the SCBI on their website – Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
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