Black-footed Ferret Cam

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Watch black-footed ferret mother Aristides raise her six kits (born May 11, 2024) on this webcam, streaming live from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. 

Black-footed ferrets are North America's only native ferret species and were once extinct in the wild. Thanks to breeding and reintroduction programs, they have made an incredible recovery. Every kit represents a huge step in saving this endangered species. Please note that this cam has no sound and appears in black and white because it is dark inside the den.

Ferret Cam FAQs

When is the best time to see the kits playing?

Like many babies, black-footed ferrets kits mostly spend the first few weeks of their lives resting. When they grow a little older, they will spend more time playing and exploring. 

As a species, black-footed ferrets are nocturnal, so the kits may be more active at night or early in the morning.  

Who are the kits' parents?

The mother, also called a dam, is 1-year-old Aristides. Aristides was born June 21, 2022, at the Louisville Zoo in Louisville, Ky. This is her second litter. She gave birth to a litter of seven kits last year at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia.

The father, also called a sire, is Thanos. Thanos is 3 years old and was born at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona on May 21, 2021. Thanos sired two litters at SCBI last year.

Is that a rat?

Black-footed ferrets eat rats and other small rodents. You may see them enjoy a rat meal on camera! It's easy to confuse the rats with a lame or dead kit. However, all the kits are healthy and growing well.

Latest Black-footed Ferret News

Black-Footed Ferrets Born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

May 17, 2024

A Celebration of Life: 50 Years Under the Endangered Species Act

December 21, 2023

Black-footed Ferret Kit Update: Six Reasons to Celebrate!

September 26, 2023