It seems like every time we turn around, there’s another animal on the endangered species list. We don’t hear too often about species that have become extinct in our lifetimes, because of the hard work that’s being done and attention that is paid to our animal friends from environmental groups and the national and state wildlife divisions.
But the case of the black-footed ferret is unique – the species was thought to be extinct in the late 1950s, until a small population (a group of ferrets is called a “business” – isn’t that cool?) was discovered in South Dakota in 1964. When that “business” of ferrets began to decline, wildlife officials captured some of the ferrets to save the species. However, the last of those died in captivity in 1974, and it was thought the species was officially extinct.
Then came a fateful day – September 26, 1981. I talked to a friend of mine, Dennie Hammer, who is now with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. On that day, Dennie was employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the crew leader for a team searching for endangered species that might have habitats on land that was being considered for Read More