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Latest Black-footed Ferret News

Black-footed ferret pokes its head out of a hole in the ground.
Sep. 26, 2023
Find out what's next for Hickory's six kits, who were featured on the Black-footed Ferret Cam this summer.
A black-footed ferret kit stretches out on some rocky substrate in its enclosure.
Aug. 17, 2023
Our newest litter of black-footed ferrets is growing up fast. Find out what it takes to care for two-month-old black-footed ferrets in this Q&A with biologist Adrienne Crosier.
Closeup of a one-month-old baby black footed ferret. Its eyes are closed and it has pale fur.
Jul. 05, 2023
Viewers of the black-footed ferret cam, take note: these tiny endangered babies have just passed one month old! 
Female black-footed ferret in a nest box nursing her kits.
Jun. 02, 2023
Carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia welcomed a litter of endangered black-footed ferrets last week. One-year-old fem... read more
Male two-toed sloth, Vlad, hangs by all four feet from the top of his exhibit. His head is tilted toward keeper, Ann, who is standing below and to the right of Vlad. Ann has a piece of food in her right hand, which is raised up toward Vlad.
Dec. 03, 2021
From smart shrews to clever coatis, every animal in Small Mammal House receives enrichment. Learn how the animal care team puts together puzzle feeders, sprinkles spices and comes up with creative ele... read more
A black-footed ferret looks out a hole of its kennel during transportation. The front of the kennel has silver bars going vertically and horizontally, and is covered in a thick plastic with circular holes.
Nov. 03, 2021
Earlier this month, our black-footed ferrets slated for breeding centers and wild release departed Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute. This included Black-footed Ferret Webcam stars Potpie a... read more
Animal keeper, Vicki Lake, sits on her knees inside a black-footed ferret enclosure. There is a blue storage bin on the left with a black-footed ferret poking it's head out of a make-shift hole, and a green bin on the right with another ferret looking out
Sep. 03, 2021
September 26 marks 40 years since black-footed ferrets were re-discovered in the wild, kick-starting today’s breeding and reintroduction program. Find out what it takes to care for Zoo Guardians' Sept... read more
A three-month-old, male black-footed ferret kit sticks his head, neck and front two paws out of a grey storage bin that acts as a den for the ferrets
Aug. 25, 2021
Each August, the Black-footed Ferret Species Survival Plan assesses the entire black-footed ferret population in human care and determines where the ferrets should go next: to the wild or a breeding c... read more
A keeper wearing a blue apron and blue, latex gloves holds three black-footed ferret kits in their hands. You cannot see the keepers' face. The kits eyes are not fully open yet, one has one eye open.
Jul. 27, 2021
After over 6,700 votes cast, the three black-footed ferret kits at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia have received their names.
A black-footed ferret kit looks out an opening of it's plastic, pet carrier.
Jul. 27, 2021
The black-footed ferret kits' receive their names, their two-month exams and some fun enrichment! Get the full ferret family scoop from Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute biologist Adrienne Cr... read more
a black-footed ferret kit sits curled up in the gloved hand of a keeper
Jul. 20, 2021
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute invites the public to help name three black-footed ferret kits—one female and two males—born May 19 at the Smithsonian Conservation Bi... read more
Potpie's female black-footed ferret kit stands in a small clear, plastic bin placed on a silver scale. The scale reads the kits weight, 3140 grams.
Jul. 13, 2021
Potpie's three kits are more active and playful! Catch them running through their full enclosure outside the den on a brand-new webcam and keep an eye out for their progress on learning to hunt. 
Potpie's three kits sleep together in a pile in their den. The photo is taken from a bird's eye view.
Jun. 21, 2021
Potpie's three kits turned 1 month old on Saturday, June 19. This birthday is marked by their darkening fur, including the distinctive dark-furred feet and mask! Read on for the full update on our bla... read more
Three 1 week old black-footed ferret kits lay together in a pile on some cream-colored bedding.
Jun. 01, 2021
Potpie's kits turned one week old and received their first exams on May 26! During their exam, keepers weighed the kits and were able to determine their sexes. 
A black-footed ferret mom and her six kits rest together in a small den on a bed of chipped paper
Oct. 05, 2020
We hope that you have enjoyed watching black-footed ferret Potpie and her kits on the Black-footed Ferret Cam! Join us in celebrating the next chapter in their lives, contributing to their species’ su... read more
A black-footed ferret mom and her six kits rest together in a small den on a bed of chipped paper
Jul. 02, 2020
Celebrate the Fourth of July with one of America's most precious national treasures: the black-footed ferret! SCBI carnivore keeper Vicki Lake shares the story of mom Potpie and her six kits as they g... read more
Giant panda Mei Xiang eats a "rainbow" cake in honor of Pride 2020 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Asia Trail habitat.
Jul. 02, 2020
A family meal among prairie dogs, the soothing sounds of a cheetah’s purr and a Pride cake fit for a giant panda. As summer kicks off at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institu... read more
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute welcomed six black-footed ferret kits to 2-year-old mother Potpie May 10, 2020.
May. 14, 2020
Mother’s Day was extra special for carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, who welcomed the year’s first litter of black-footed ferret kits... read more
Grasslands of the American Prairie Reserve in Montana under a bright blue sky with a few whispy clouds on a sunny day
Feb. 08, 2019
Conservation ecologist Andy Boyce lives on the American Prairie Reserve in Phillips County, Montana. It's rugged, it's wild and it's one of the only places left on Earth where scientists have the chan... read more
a black footed ferret sits on a rock
Jul. 13, 2018
Find the answers to some of the most-searched questions about black-footed ferrets, North America’s only native ferret species!
scimitar-horned oryx laying in grass
May. 18, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is dedicated to saving species. Every day, its scientists and partners undertake important conservation efforts to protect species and... read more
Head closeup showing black mask, nose and small ears
Mar. 14, 2018
Senior Scientist and Head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute David Wildt has been chosen to receive the 2017 Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award i... read more
Black-footed ferret
Oct. 13, 2017
Ever wonder what causes black-footed ferrets to breed successfully, play aggressively or simply survive in the wild? Researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) recently mappe... read more
Black-footed ferret Capone
Jan. 23, 2017
A geriatric black-footed ferret named Capone was humanely euthanized Jan. 19 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). He was seven years old.