After voting polls closed at noon today, black-footed ferret keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., revealed the ferret webcam star’s new name—on the webcam. More than 1,000 voters picked the winning name, Rosebud, on the Smithsonian magazine’s website. The name represents one of 19 sites, the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where captive-bred black-footed ferrets are released. There were a total of four names to choose from. The other three runners up were Meeteetse for the name of the town in Wyoming where the last 18 black-footed ferrets were discovered in 1981 and Shirley and Cheyenne, both of which are locations where black-footed ferrets, bred under human care, are released into the wild. Rosebud will remain in captivity for possible breeding and on view on the National Zoo’s black-footed ferret webcam for devoted ferret fans.
The black-footed ferret is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Since 1981, SCBI has been on the leading edge of developing innovative breeding techniques, such as artificial insemination, and has successfully produced 670 black-footed ferrets and reintroduced 220 individuals back into the wild.