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The Phoenix Zoo is proud to participate in conservation efforts to save the endangered black-footed ferret, one of the rarest mammals in the world. In 1985, researchers surveyed the species in Wyoming to find that there were very few of them left and decided to capture 18 individuals to create a breeding program. Since 1988, governmental agencies, zoos and private landowners have worked together to bring this species back from the brink of extinction.  
Since we opened our breeding facility in 1992, the Phoenix Zoo has been an active participant in the conservation and reintroduction of the endangered black-footed ferret. We are one of only six facilities in the world that participate in the black-footed ferret breeding program. Our facility has produced nearly 400 ferrets, 85 of which have been released to the wild at the Aubrey Valley reintroduction site near Seligman, Arizona. 

There are currently 19 black-footed ferret reintroduction sites located in eight U.S. states with one site in Mexico and one site in Canada. Black-footed ferrets have been
reintroduced in Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, and New Mexico.  An estimated 800-1000 ferrets are now living in the wild, thanks to the dedicated work of countless partners committed to their recovery. The Phoenix Zoo is proud to play a significant role in this important work.

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