The Phoenix Zoo is one of six facilities worldwide breeding black-footed ferrets for release to the wild. Black-footed ferrets
are considered one of North America’s most endangered species. And in 2021, we welcomed 27 kits, marking our most successful
season for endangered black-footed ferret kits in 20 years!

“13 of the 27 surviving kits were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center (FCC) in
Carr, Colorado as candidates for release to the wild,” says Dr. Tara Harris, Director of Conservation and Science at the Phoenix Zoo.
The kits all passed pre-conditioning at the Center, successfully demonstrating that they could kill prairie dogs (their primary prey)
and surviving the 30-day stay in the Center’s outdoor pen system before they were released to the wild in Colorado.

The AZA Black-footed Ferret Species Survival Plan® (SSP) program also retained 14 Phoenix Zoo kits to bolster the SSP breeding population for 2022. We’re proud to be a long-standing partner in the effort to ensure the survival of this iconic prairie species.

more about Black-footed Ferrets