Fort Collins, Colo. (AP) - Federal officials have announced this season's first births in the program attempting to rebuild the population of the black-foot ferret, North America's most endangered mammal.
A 2-year-old ferret gave birth to kits March 24 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Center north of Fort Collins, one of the facilities where the ferrets are bred and prepared for release in the wild.
Spokeswoman Sarah Bexell says biologists don't know how many kits were born because they don't want to disturb them for a while.
About 350 to 450 ferrets are born each year in federal facilities and a handful of zoos. The Fish and Wildlife Department releases about 200 to 225 ferrets yearly to sites in 18 states and Mexico to restore the animal once thought extinct.
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