ARIZONA NEWS

4 litters of endangered black-footed ferrets born at Phoenix Zoo

May 27, 2021, 4:15 AM

(Phoenix Zoo Photo)...

(Phoenix Zoo Photo)

(Phoenix Zoo Photo)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Zoo is now home to four new litters of black-footed ferrets.

Twenty-one of the endangered animals were recently born at the zoo’s Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Conservation Center.

The kits came from four mothers who live at the zoo — Mandolin, Lazuli, Ridley and Yoshi — and will be raised by them inside specially designed den boxes.

“This is already our most successful black-footed ferret breeding season at the Johnson Conservation Center since 2016,” Dr. Tara Harris, director of conservation and science, said in a press release. “Encouragingly, another three females are possibly pregnant, so we may have additional kits soon.”

The Johnson Conservation Center at the Phoenix Zoo is one of six facilities across the world that breed black-footed ferrets for release to the wild, producing over 500 in the past 30 years.

The ferrets are released into the wild in prairie grasslands in Arizona and other parts of their native environment.

“Wherever these kits go, we are proud to know they will play a part in the recovery of this iconic species,” Harris said.

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4 litters of endangered black-footed ferrets born at Phoenix Zoo