There is only one animal in North America that can be called the "Bandit of the Prairie."Meet the Black-Footed Ferret.
The Black-Footed Ferret is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, but that was not always true. In the 1800s, they were pretty common on the prairie, but that was before people started plowing up the prairie to make homes, farms, and towns.
Losing their habitat to people was one reason they started disappearing. The other reason has to do with prairie dogs. Black-footed ferrets are predators of prairie dogs. Prairie dogs are their food supply. Farmers started killing prairie dogs, and the food was hard to find. By 1986, there were no black-footed ferrets left in the wild, and only 18 alive in zoos. But people cared, and now there are over 600. Here are some things you might not know about the black-footed ferret.
- They are a member of the weasel family.
- Their black mask keeps the glare of the sun from hurting their eyes.
- They can twist and turn through any tunnel.
- They spend most of the time underground.
- They make prairie dog tunnels their homes.
- They hunt at night.
- They like to be alone.
- Females have one to six babies in May or June.
- Their babies are called Kits.
- Kits are born blind, and stay in the tunnel for two months.
- Kits can be on their own before winter.
Animal Girl says, "Some think this is cool, but I think it's cruel!"
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